Tuesday, 13 May 2014

Day 6- Second Day of Summer Camp!

Our morning started out with a delicious breakfast at 8:00 AM and the short trip to Bharat Children’s Academy and Junior College at 8:45 AM. We arrived at the school to find out that the students were watching some brief videos about World War II in preparation for our Model United Nations activity. Though we appreciated the teachers’ enthusiasm in trying to prepare the students about the history of the time period for which our activity was to take place, we were concerned that the students, with the history refreshed in their minds, would make decisions based upon what actually happened in history rather than thinking critically for themselves to decide what was best for their nation. To our happiness later though, we discovered that the students were still able to thing independently to come up with their own ideas! I discuss this in more detail below.

Once the history videos concluded, we began with our first activity of the day: the water balloon drop. The topics of Design/Build/Test, Newton’s Second Law, gravitational force, air resistance and impulse momentum were explained as integral parts of the activity. The students were responsible for building a container that would hold a water balloon and prevent it from breaking when dropped from approximately a twelve feet height. The students were very creative with their designs, and surprised us all by building far more spring-board containers than the containers with parachutes that most of our ideas revolved around. Testing the containers became somewhat challenging to begin with. As this was my activity, I had made a prototype prior to the camp that I had tested. My contraption had survived a fall of about twelve feet, but it had a parachute which many of the student groups did not have. I started the students dropping their containers from about twelve feet, but after the first few water balloons all popped, the students became discouraged. After trying the drop from multiple slightly lower heights, we finally found a good height from which to drop the containers. The students and teachers loved watching them fall to see whose survived!

The second activity of the day was a blimp activity. First, the concepts of buoyancy and propulsion were introduced. Many of the students had never seen a blimp before, and they were very excited and amazed by the pictures of different blimps. Their task was to create a blimp out of a helium balloon, a regular balloon, straws, paperclips, and tape that could propel itself for five meters. As most students had never before had exposure to blimps, they started off the activity a little confused. Once they figured out that the non-helium balloon was to be used as the means to propel the helium balloon, they were off to the races. One group even managed to fly their blimp twenty meters!

A highlight of our morning was during the students’ lunch break after the second activity. The principle’s young daughter arrived at the camp and treated us to the cutest version of "Que Sera Sera" ever!

After the students’ lunch, we proceeded with our World War II Model United Nations activity from the day before. The students were all very enthusiastic about the activity! One student representing Japan had made a sign the night before that said “Down with the USA!” and even had it written in fake Japanese script on the back! We quickly learned that we did not need to worry about the World War II videos preventing them from thinking for themselves. By the end of the activity, one classroom had decided that all of the countries except the USA would be in an alliance and would declare war on the USA. Though not historically accurate, we were glad that the students were thinking critically about what they thought was best for their country.

After heading back the guest house for a brief lunch, we were transported to our discussion with the teachers where we listened to a very informative presentation about secondary education in India. After that, we held an open discussion where the teachers asked us all of their questions about secondary education in the US.

When all of our meetings and activities were through for the day, we gathered together to finalize tomorrow’s schedule and activities. The camp has been so much fun, and we cannot wait to see what tomorrow’s activities have in store for us and the students!


  1. Say hello to the Doshis from me. :-)

  2. Down with the USA? Critical thinking is super important but kind of a bummer the one student went in that direction. Unless I missed something. Hi Jack! Momma loves you!