The journey of learning and adventure started at the Delhi airport where thirty students of Mayo College Girls' School and three teachers were starting to go for an incredible journey for space exploration. This trip, organized by the school was a once in a lifetime opportunity for all of us. Our exuberant journey started in Houston where we visited the well known, Johnson Space centre. On the first day we had an experiment on the reaction of flame on zero gravity. It was an interesting experiment as we all got to learn a new concept.
In the evening we had session in which we were asked to design a rocket out of the material given to us. We were divided into teams and each team launched their rockets with the help of an ordinary pump and some water. On the second day we visited the Sonny Carter Training Facility (SCTF) also called the Neutral Buoyancy Lab (NBL). It provides controlled neutral buoyancy operations to simulate the zero-g or weightless condition that I experienced by spacecraft and crew during space flight. It is an essential tool for the design, testing and development of the International Space Station and future NASA programs. For the astronaut, the facility provides important pre-flight training for extravehicular activities (EVA) and with the dynamics of body motion under weightless conditions.
We also had an interactive session with the diver who trains the astronauts when they are working underwater. On the same day there was a scuba diving session for us. All the students had a real learning experience during the scuba diving session many of us could actually dive underwater at the end of the four hours session. In the evening, we were asked make a mars rover. We were divided into groups to make the rover. We gained a lot of knowledge about the rovers sent to mars by the NASA team. Making a mars rover was a new and an enchanting experience for all of us. We also made a mock lander with all the basic essentials with a budget sheet to control the budget of making a lander. The next day we met a former NASA astronaut Leroy Chiao who is also a chemical engineer. Mr. Chiao has gone for three space missions out of which he lived in space for six months in his third space mission. It was lifetime opportunity for the students to have the interactive session with a renowned astronaut like him. In the next session we went for a tram tour of the space center and visited the SVFM (The Space Vehicle Mockup Facility). It develops, operates and maintains the mockup and trainer facilities to support astronaut training and engineering activities at Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas. On day four in the Mission Challenger learning centre, we were allowed to control mock up shuttle visits from earth to moon and from earth to mars after being divided into two groups. We also visited The Houston Museum of Natural Sciences. On day five the group could visit the launch pads from which several important space shuttles were launched which is situated in John.F Kennedy Space Centre Orlando. We also were fortunate enough to see the Atlantis Space Shuttle placed on the launch pad which was to be launched on 8th July 2011. Day six and seven were filled with fun and frolic with visits to the Disneyworld and Universal studios respectively. There we had a memorable experience of witnessing the famous Disneyworld parade 'Dream coming true'.
The last three days of the trip was like the icing on the cake. We were fortunate enough to visit United Nations Indian Constellate, UN Security Council, UN General Assembly. We also visited The Empire State Building which is a 102-story landmark in New York City, United States, at the intersection of Fifth Avenue and West 34th Street. It is 1,250 ft (381 meters) tall. Its name is derived from the nickname for New York, the Empire State. It stood as the world's tallest building for 40 years, from its completion in 1931 until construction of the World Trade Center's North Tower was completed in 1972. We also went to Times Square. Times Square is a major commercial intersection in the borough of Manhattan in New York City. The theaters of Broadway and the huge number of animated neon and LED signs have long made them one of New York's iconic images, and a symbol of the intensely urban aspects of Manhattan. Times Square is the only neighborhood with zoning ordinances requiring building owners to display illuminated signs. Next we visited the Niagara Falls. They are the most powerful waterfalls in North America. These voluminous waterfalls are situated on the Niagara River. Niagara Falls is composed of two major sections, separated by Goat Island: the Horseshoe Falls on the Canadian side and the American Falls on the American side. The Niagara Falls is very wide. More than 6 million cubic feet (168,000 m3) of waterfalls over the crest line every minute in high flow, and almost 4 million cubic feet (110,000 m3) on average. The Niagara Falls is renowned both for their beauty and as a valuable source of hydroelectric power.
On the last day we visited The Statue of Liberty and Intrepid Museum. The Statue of Liberty Enlightening the World was a gift of friendship from the people of France to the people of the United States and is a universal symbol of freedom and democracy. The statue is of a robed female figure representing Libertas, the Roman of freedom, who bears a torch and a tabula ansata (a tablet evoking the law) upon which is inscribed the date of the American Declaration of Independence. A broken chain lies at her feet. The statue has become an icon of freedom and of the United States. New York City's Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum Complex is a dynamic, interactive and educational journey for all ages. The museum's mission is to honor our heroes, educate the public and inspire our youth. The trip was exceptionally knowledgeable, fun filled and highly rewarding. We thank our Principal Ma'am Singh for giving us this opportunity to have such an incredible experience. We also thank our teachers who were part of the trip who supported and helped us in all possible ways. We would like to thank Mr. Jaiswal for the interactive session with Mr. Anupam Rae and for the visit to the United Nations Head Quarters. Finally we would like to thank Mr. Vishal and Mrs. Sonia for the wonderful arrangements made to make our trip successful.
Presented by: Students (NASA)
Duration: 28th May, 2011 – 9th June, 2011 Schools Visited: 1) Grund und Haupt Schule, Oehningen, Germany 2) Grund Schule, Loerrach, Germany Participants: 12 students and 2 teachers from Mayo College Girls' School
It was an educational as well as cultural exchange between two countries. The programme provided the Mayoites with the unique opportunity of staying with German families and getting the first land experience of learning about their culture, language and way of life. The girls not only attended classes of various subjects like English( how to write a poem with clapping), Mathematics, German language, technology, etc, but also enthusiastically took part in activities like canoeing, sailing, soccer competition, athletics, tracking, making kaleidoscope and sculptures out of a cake of soap etc. The bond with the host families is a life time achievement. The Mayoites introduced themselves in German language, learnt a German language, learnt a German song and taught the German students an Indian folk dance. The cultural show put up by Mayoites was really praiseworthy. Entire comparing in German was highly applauded. Trips to the local stalactite caves, the eastles, churches, Lake of Constance, Island mainau (island of flowers), butterfly house, Maggi Museum, Swiss science centre in Zurich, Workshop at an Art Museum in Basel, Black forest etc. added an extra flavor to the programme. One of the members of the Parents' association in Oehningen, Germany quoted Rabindranath Tagore and invited our girls to visit again and wished all success to the exchange programme so that it continues and this close association remains forever.
This year Damini Roy, from M.C.G.S, was a part of a delegation of 87 students from all over the nation who went to Japan as part of the JENESYS programme.
From the 19th of May to the 28th of May, Damini Roy, a student of class XII, was a part of a delegation of 87 students who went to Japan as part of the JENESYS programme. The Japan East Asia network of Exchange for Students and Youths (JENESYS) programme is the brain child of Japan’s Ex.: Prime Minister, Mr. Shinzo Abe. It is a pioneering setup towards improving bilateral relations between India and Japan.
Since 2007, around 10,000 Indian students visit Japan as part of the JENESYS programme every year. The students are selected by the HRD ministry on the basis of their academics and co-curricular record.
This year, the 1st batch of high school students comprised of 87 children from all over the nation. They were divided in to 4 groups – Tokyo, Ibaraki, Hyogo and Okinama. Damini Roy was a part of the Okinama group, which visited the picturesque island of Ishigaki.
This year, nine girls of class 5 and 6 from Mayo College Girls School along with twelve boys of class 5 and 6 from Mayo College Ajmer participated in the 2010 Student Exchange to Germany.
Five of the girls attended the Grund-und-haupt Schule, Ohningen and four attended the Grund Schule Thüringen, Lorrach. Each student was accompanied by a host student and was put up with their host family. The girls instantly felt at home by the warmth with which they were welcomed by their respective host families.
The students participated in many challenging, yet exciting activities such as, the ‘Project Day’ every Friday- where they would make crafty things with sand, pottery and wool. The inter-cultural fascination from both sides was fulfilled with the hosts organizing a cultural programmefor the students, attending classes together, and Indian students learning how to cook German food and learning sentences in Hindi-German. The students in Ohningen also took part in ‘Wellkampf Ehrenwikundi’, an Athletics meet that took place in all the states of Germany.
The girls did a number of interesting activities like- boating in the Rhine Falls and Titisee Lake, witnessing a wide variety of flowers in the Mainau Island, canoeing, sailing, travelling in German trains, roller-coaster rides, visiting a cave with the temperature of 2 degree Celsius, going to a water-park, visiting an open air theatre in Zorach and they even saw the breathtaking Alcak Castle in France. The girls were even given the honor of meeting the Vice Mayor of Zorach.
These exchanges helped the students to imbibe knowledge about different cultures and education systems, and thus proved to be a great and brilliant learning experience for them.
The year 2008 spelled eventful for M.C.G.S as 2 representatives from our school Surabhi Agarwal and Mahtab Irani visited Japan and France respectively as part of an exchange programme. Our experience was indeed one of a kind.
Bonjour…and its great to be back!!
It’s funny how a trip abroad can leave you feeling more Indian sometimes. How giving a little bit of your country to another can make you so proud. I would know. I just gave France a taste of India. And bought back a huge chunk of it too.
I lived with a girl called Arianne Triconnet and her family, in a small town called Grand Carroune, 80 kms from Paris. The school we attended was in elbeuf, a neighbouring town. My host tried to show me around as much as possible, not to mention feed me truckloads of cheese and chocolate and dishes like Corque missoue. I introduced them to tandoori chicken and biryani, and inspite of it being spicier than what they are used to, they loved it. They were fascinated with Hindi, and also the sari. But not more fascinated than they were with Bollywood, which seemed to be popular there.
School, was an interesting experience. Apart from the French and music classes, I was introduced to an entirely foreign concept of education, which seemed more out of the box than the Indian education system.
I got a chance to see French theatre, as well as meet the mayor. However, nothing can compare with doing social service at Benevola, where we set up our own stall and earned 400 Euros writing names in Hindi.
Also, I fell in love.Truly, madly and deeply. With Paris-the city of lights, poets and paintings. Sightseeing there was at its best. We visited the Eiffel Tower, and shed the weight gained eating chocolates while climbing the 700 steps all the way to the top. The view was exquisite. We visited other places that I had only read about, like the Chateau de Versailles and the Louvre,a world famous art museum and a historic monument. There I got to see the world’s most celebrated art works, like that of Leonardo da Vinci’s Mona Lisa, and Madonna of the Rocks. I also visited the Notre dam de Paris, a gothic cathedral, and Lachaise cemetery; the burial site of famous personalities like Jim Morrison and Oscar Wilde.
Konnichiwa ….. as I have to pen down my experience to the Land of the Rising Sun, a lot of thoughts cross my mind. Japan is not exactly out of the ‘Memoirs of a Geisha’ or ‘Tokyo Drift’ but a mixture of both. Modern but traditional all the same. In the span of 10 days , that I spent there I visited Tokyo, Nagano and Chikuma. The highlights of my trip were a visit to the National Diet, Winter Olympics Museum, Tokyo Tower, a stay at Ryokan Inn(traditional inn) and an interaction with students of Shinonoy High School.
The stay with my host family is the closest to my heart. They made me feel at ease and were very eager to learn about India and our culture that language was never a barrier. My host Sanchiko Nakazawa treated me like family and made me experience the Japanese culture and lifestyle to the fullest. I saw sumo wrestling, made rice pancakes and even dressed up in the ‘kimono’. I was also lucky to meet the mayor of the prefecture.
In Nagano I visited the Zenkoji Temple and the hot springs which are supposed to have therapeutic properties. The bullet train and the robotics museum were also experiences of a lifetime. A very interesting fact about the Japanese houses is that only the framework is wood and rest is all made out of paper.
My host was not only very fascinated by the Indian monuments but also by our cuisine, movies, sari and crafts. It was soon time to bid good bye to this warm and hospitable country and my host, but I really do hope that I made the most of my exchange.