Dream India Team Educational Tour
Venue: Birla Planetarium
Schools: Alapakkam School & Adyar School
Dream India team organized an educational trip for the kids of Adyar & Alapakkam Schools on 16-Mar-2014. It was 7.30 AM we requested the students of Alapakkam School to be present, however, I found only I being present at that time. Kids were already in the School from 7.00 AM. Volunteer Arun took care of the students before and after on boarding them on the bus from Alapakkam School. I received a call from a parent inquiring the itinerary for the day and met a parent in person who came to meet the volunteers Arun & Me at the school to know the schedule. After briefing them the day’s plans, Arun took a mini attendance just to verify our head counts matches with the list we possessed. After clicking the pictures of the kids inside the bus, they hooted three cheers to Dream India. I waved them with see-you-all-at-the-venue gesture and started my car and drove to gobble up light Tiffin and headed straight to Vasantham School for picking Nata. Everything was packed and was ready to be loaded such as Banana Fruits, Mango Frooti, and Buns. These are for distributing to those didn’t have break-fast and to others as well. Volunteer Arun directed the bus from Alapakkam School to Adyar School for picking the students from there to Birla Planetarium, the venue we’ve decided for the DI Outing, 2014.
I and Nata then started in our car from Vasantham School. Nata started directing me the route to the venue after seeing me driving exactly the opposite way. For instance, I kept asking should we be taking a right-turn in the case where we are supposed to take a left and vice-versa. This kept continued until I became familiar with the route. At 10.00 AM we all have gathered at the Birla Planetarium campus. We along with few others volunteers Velu, Vinoth, Gokul, Abinaya greeted each other and started to distribute the break-fast we brought for the students. Arun & Nata went to check with entrance guards on the entry and that time was used productively by Abinaya, who started teaching the concepts of Science that adorned the compound walls leading to the entrance gate. A model of giant Rocket, Dinosaur, etc., made all our mouth fell open from the gate till we reached the Periyar Science and Technology Centre as it is popularly known which encompasses a Science Centre and a Planetarium. We kept moving among the galleries on themes such as Science, Communication, Transportation and Energy across the floors. The galleries displayed exhibits of the interactive variety, which means we can participate directly in the learning process and satisfy our curiosity about scientific principles and developments of Science and Technology. Every exhibit was designed to catch our attention, I guess. We spotted a few utilities of solar energy, wind energy and bio-gas that weren’t working at all. But, still we read the poster that accompanied it and explained to students to whatever extent we understood.
There was a mirror room where we all had chances to arrive face-to-face with ourselves against the magic mirrors. Many kids came running towards me and pulled me into this room. Then we all paid a visit to a 3D-Show on the life of aquatic animals. We were given glasses along with the instructions on how should it be used with care. Many animals came forward to swallow our heads. Students continuously shouting with fear and joy at the same time were evident that the DI trip was a HIT. Followed this was a small gathering outside the Indoor - Universe or the sky theatre where Students were asked to share how they felt thus far in the trip. The special effect projectors inside the sky theatre re-created some of the most awe-inspiring astronomical phenomena. It provided the features of a night sky. Multi-dimensional activities and multimedia projection arrangements which have been incorporated inside the sky theatre made the program further lively and excited. We then let the students enjoy themselves to the core by taking them on to a nearby park. However, due to empty stomach, they couldn’t scream their joy fully. Meantime, Arun and Nata arrived with the Vegetable Biriyani & Curd Rice coupled with pickles food packets packed very neatly. We all divided ourselves in smaller circles and spooned the respective rice’s. Nata & Arun served all and made us to finish the lunch first. After finishing the lunch I want to interact & get introduced with the Adyar School Students, as I was new to them. I want to engage the students because soon after having food they were in the mood to run and jump. So, I decided to feed food to their brain now and started with a vocabulary game Word Anthakshri. What started at a very slow pace went on like a wildfire during the middle & towards the end by catching the attention of everyone who stopped-by. They brought a lot of new enthusiasm into this game and I along with others thoroughly enjoyed the process of conducting it. Every kid made every volunteer drop their jaw by their sensational verbal skills. Nata finally honored the winner, runner and third placed student that they can pursue typing & computers in their areas. This was also declared open to all the students as well [esp. Typing].
Final gathering was made to exhibit their cultural talents such as Dance. Nata and Arun circulated the thirst quencher Kulfi to all to beat the heat. Volunteer Abinaya was made to share her experiences with all as she will be departing Dream India in sometime. The trip ended with National Anthem at 4.30 PM and we all boarded the bus and started dancing to the tunes of Hit numbers.
Photos taken during the trip are aired in the following picasa weblink::