More than hundred students of Indian School Sohar, experienced International exposure when they went on 12-day educational trip to USA’s National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)’s prestigious Kennedy Space and Research Centre recently.
The first group of students, led by the Principal Mrs.Sanchita Verma and teachers Mrs.Divya Johari and Mr.Kamal Gurung left for the exciting trip on 30th May. The second and the third group left on 1st June led by Vice-Principal Dr.Vinu Kumar and teachers Mrs.Nisha Aravind, Mrs. Indira Vinod and Mrs. Smita Mishra.
Organized in collaboration with Zahara Travels, the students spent three days, touring the facilities at the Kennedy Space Centre, where they were engaged in several challenging activities. The children got an opportunity to visit the Rocket Garden, Atlantis museum and saw a documentary on the creation of Atlantis. Besides meaningful interactions with the NASA Astronauts, they explored the launching and the landing of space shuttles, understanding the mechanism of Robotics, riding a shuttle launch simulation and many more.
"We have been planning for a while that students should get a chance to not just have fun but also explore innovative prospects during educational trips. Since a lot of students were attracted to space and astronautics, we chose the NASA Kennedy Space Centre for the purpose," said Sanchita Verma, principal. "Students came back with many inputs to share with the rest of the class. The whole idea behind the trip was to provide enduring education to students. I am confident that such experiences live on in students' minds long after they have received their degrees and certificates", she added.
Talking about the Rocket Garden at NASA, Aayushi Singh, an awe struck student said, “The only thing growing in this “garden” is your imagination, as you stroll amidst an array of real and replica capsules and rockets – soaring as high as 109 feet into the sky.”
“In this programme students made their own robot, learnt to drive and control it wirelessly to ultimately compete for a challenge to move on artificially created lunar surface. This made them to learn how space probes like ROVER are controlled wirelessly from the Earth station. It was indeed a marvellous experience of life time for us.” Said Kush Ajay Damani, one of the students about the rigorous Space Robotic programme called “Space Trek”. “The activities got more interesting and challenging with every passing day,” quoted another student.
For recreation, the children witnessed the wonders of ' ‘Universal studios at Orlando, where several interesting activities were held. Visiting the enchanting and magical world of Harry Potter was a dream come true for many of the young wizards’ fans.
The visit to Walt Disney’s Magic Kingdom unleashed their energy where the students enjoyed various rides. They returned enthralled with a will to believe in their dreams.
"The trip was a fantastic mix of activities for students-fun-filled, interesting and educational," added the Vice Principal Vinu Kumar
Most of the parents held the view that children nowadays are exploring new career avenues and the NASA trip will help them realise their dreams. The importance of providing the students with practical experience rather than theoretical one is increasingly being understood. They applauded this unique venture taken up by the school.
This educational tour also included visits to places like the Universal Studios in Orlando, Niagara Falls in Buffalo, White House and Lincoln Memorial, Smithsonian Museum in Washington DC, Empire State Building, Statue of Liberty, Ellis Island, Times Square and Ground Zero. "Every spot our students visited has a history behind it, and children got an opportunity to learn a lot," said Divya Johari, HOD, accompanying the students.
“The Maiden of Mist ‘The Niagra Falls’ was absolutely breath-taking and truly captivating. It was truly an example of the raw beauty of nature” said Harsh Nair, a student.
The trip was a huge success and it was possible only due to the cooperation of parents, students, teachers in charge and school management.
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