Over the last three weeks, the creativity and passion of science teachers at Northbridge International School Cambodia has faced head on the new environments and challenges of the Virtual School Experience.
It is fair to say that everyone has been taken out of their comfort zone in some way, and the outcomes are as unexpected as enriching for the learning of our students.
From tours around the school campus, the use of new technologies and platforms to a fantastic session with a leading scientist from NASA, our students have been able to keep exploring the world and its scientific principles in the middle of these challenging times. Let’s take a look at some highlights of the Virtual School Experience.
You don’t need to go crazy about the lack of materials to create a nice model that helps you visualize the parts of the cell or the layers of our planet. Grade 6 and Grade 7, under the guidance of Mr Andy went around their houses looking for materials they could use to create a model of the cell (Grade 6) and our planet (Grade 7). Students got to take their eyes off the screen for a while and work hands-on on this task that helps them visualize important concepts in their units.
The creativity of our students goes well beyond the classroom, and Ms Silvia with her Grade 7 class gave them the opportunity to express their ideas in creative ways. Students did research on climate change, enhanced greenhouse effect and global warming and after discussing some of their ideas, they had to get in groups and create something that would express their understanding and feelings about this very current topic. Some of our digital artists got together and they created this beautiful piece that they shared with the class and explained.
Meanwhile, Grade 11 biology students had the chance to take a virtual walk around our green campus (that they miss so much) while learning about photosynthesis with Ms Frances. They got to see plants around the school and talked about different types of leaves and their role in photosynthesis. What better place to do that than under the sun!
At the same time, Ms Silvia sent her Biology Grade 12 class for a quest around their houses looking for plants, and seeds from fruit. Their task was to use an app that they downloaded to their phones to identify the scientific name and characteristics of the plants they have in their houses. If you want to give it a try and explore it, the app name is PlantNet and you can download it for free!
Part of being an ambitious Nord Anglia school is having access to connections with institutions like MIT. This week, one of the leading scientists in data visualization from NASA, Dr Kim Arcand, shared her experiences and knowledge about astrophysics with our students.
In the evening of Wednesday 1 April for us (but very early for professor Kim Arcand, who is based in Cambridge, Massachusetts) the NAE schools of the region (Southeast Asia and Middle East) had the amazing opportunity to chat with her thanks to the NAE-MIT collaboration and the coordination of our own Mr Jack.
Students from Grade 12 in Mr Diego’s physics class watched this very interesting TEDx talk from professor Arcand and submitted their questions to her. Also, Grade 6 students with Mr Jack worked on some of the activities NASA has designed for students to explore the type of work that visualization scientists do (check them out here!).
During the live session, Northbridge was made visible to the whole community through the work that Mr Jack’s students had done and some of the questions that Mr Diego’s physics students asked. It was a very exciting moment when professor Arcand highlighted the work and questions that our students had produced and was very happy to see our inquirers in action.
Very challenging times for all of us but as you can see, learning does not stop at Northbridge. We are working together, learning together and finding ways to reinvent quality education for our students. We are ambitious!