Sunday 19 August 2018

1st Student Research presentations - Astronomy

Want to learn about Georges Lamaitre? Or formation of a star? Nebulae? Galaxies that eat other galaxies? Well come on over and attend a research presentation by Upper Elementary at Al Qamar.

Research forms an integral part of Elementary work. All the work in done in school, and independently by the students.

This year, the 1st research presentation was on Astronomy.  The 4th & 5th graders worked together to do research on various topics like the Big Bang, Lifecycle of a Star, the Solar System, the Planets, Galaxies etc.

The teams worked hard, pulling out all encyclopedias and books on astronomy from the in-class library, poring over the books, making notes, having animated discussions.

Finally when they had finalized their drafts, they were issued chart paper to make the final versions.

On the day of the presentation, all the teachers were shooed out of the classroom. And a sentry was posted to ensure that they didn't sneak in.  I heard a lot of crash, bang, furniture moving, voices raised in argument....and wondered "What on earth is happening????"

Finally we were invited into the presentation room.  The room had been darkened. In hushed whispers, we were told to be quietly seated.  All the teams had ranged themselves around the room.

Suddenly, a loud bang, as a balloon burst. "The Big Bang!" Then fairy lights, a cool blue, came on. "Light was created!" A crisp confident voice went on to inform us about how the Big Bang took place, 14 billion years ago. How stars were created from the dust and residue. How elements were formed, giving way over time to heavier elements.

We learned about how nebulae give birth to stars, how stars grow, become giants and then finally die.

We learned about our favourite star - The Sun.

We learned about how galaxies are light years away from each other. We learned about our spiral galaxy - the Milky Way.

We learned about the various planets, the rocky ones, the gas giants, asteroids and meteors.

We learned - as in the teachers learned, while the children taught.  Amazing and beautiful!

Looking forward to the next presentation on Early Earth.

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