With a clear understanding of what biodiversity is and the importance of it, it was time to explore the biodiversity in their very backyards. Each forest has its own composition of species that play different roles in the ecosystem. Thus every ecosystem is unique and this was the message we wished to share with our students. IT was now time to discover the wonders of the forest of Pench.
Beginning with a video on the Pench Tiger Reserve and a second, on tropical forests, the students were encouraged to observe the animals and plants in both the videos. The students made a note of the differences between both the forests. They then brainstormed on the possible reasons for a difference in the biodiversity of a tropical forest and their very own forest of Pench.
One of the best and most effective sources of clean energy, the Sun, has been manipulated to our benefit since time unknown.
Our students are well versed with solar energy through their extensive exposure to the workings of a solar planel. After all, it is a kilo watt of solar that supports their favourite classroom.
However, this month we took manipulating solar energy a step further with this workshop by Curiouscity Science education. Educators, Utpal Chattopadhyay and Shonali Chinniah, taught the children what happens when we mix different materials, natural and artificial, colours and the light from the Sun.
While the 1864 novel introduced to children a completely spectacular image of the underground and of what the Earth is made up of, the reality is quite different. However, it isn’t of importance that the Earth’s core isn’t as exciting as that imagined by characters, Alex and Professor Lidenbrock, the Earth’s core is still extraordinary. Off course, one does not expect the same hospitality from the planet like in the science fiction novel.
This month’s agenda compromised of a virtual journey to the centre of the Earth. Our students are aware of what is extant above the Earth’s surface, but this workshop took them below it to discover what lies beneath.
Purvi Vora and Sangita Kapadia of Reniscience Education made this workshop just as entertaining as the far fetched novel with some fantastic activities.
This month, we had a unique workshop by a very unique personality, Vikram Sridhar. Vikram is a Performance storyteller and theatre practitioner who uses his art and story telling gift to make a difference. Vikram believes the body is a tool of communication. Through his workshops he assists students in becoming more aware of their own bodies and helping them use them as communication tools like he does with his folktale telling performances.
The Pench Tiger Reserve is home to the famous Royal Bengal Tiger. This large cat has come to receive much attention and conservation efforts focus on the recovery of the numbers of this majestic specie. With the tiger at the fore, changes in the reserve take the form of changing rural landscapes, social fabrics and tourism revolving around the tiger.
Through our identity exploration and film making workshop, we wished to shift focus from the tigers of Pench and see what lies beyond!
Our students, rightly the ‘sava shers’ of Pench, learnt about video shooting, editing, voiceovers and everything that comes with film making. However, this was no ordinary film making workshop; the five days of the workshop entailed digging deeper and exploring the relationship of ‘jungle, mein aur gaav’ and, in the words of Ankit, ‘demystifying the camera’.
With reading assessments almost complete, we’re working on fixing the last few details of the libraries.
This year has been a real test for our plants. After a few pleasantly wet days after sowing, we were back to the dry spell.
Needless to say, the patch didn’t fare too well (to add to our troubles, we’ve been having trouble with the hand pump in the school).
We’ve returned to organic gardening once again this year, but only in a different school. This year, Kohka Middle School has taken it on themselves to go organic.
We’ve finally surfaced! If you’re wondering why we’ve been so quiet all December, we should let you know, we’ve been putting in a little of that extra effort for the winter sowing.
Just like in July, we sowed our seeds with hope. And, looks like we’re going strong!
Our beautiful Bhindi and Barbati plants served their purpose. Our Midday Meal Kitchen in the shcool absorbed all the produce of our organic patch (off course, the produce that remains after the students eat the raw bhindi! Yes, we know what you’re think, raw Bhindi? But, the students love it! We think it has something to do with the sweetness in vegetables when grown organically.)