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Walchandnagar Day 3: Bottle Rockets!

Today was Becca’s birthday! We started the day doing yoga again in the morning. It was very refreshing and woke us up. Afterwards, we had our breakfast at 8 as usual and arrived at the school at 9. Since we had the lego mindstrom robots with us, we asked to head to the computer lab really quick to drop them off. However, the teacher insisted us to go to the main classrooms first. We were a little suspicious , but listened to his instructions anyway. When we entered the classroom, we realized that they threw Becca a surprise party!! All the students wore their colorful uniforms and sang happy birthday with the teachers. The teachers also performed some traditional birthday rituals on Becca that included lighting lanterns and dotting colored power on her hair and forehead. They passed out candy and cake and asked us to go behind Becca. Then they popped confetti and foam on all of us! It was so much fun. I was very glad that I got to experience it along with Becca.

We started off the camp separating the boys and the girls. The plan was that the girls were going to work on the rocket activity first and the boys were going to work on Lego Mindstorms. However, 5 minutes in, we started having trouble with the mindstorm programs not running and had to send the boys back to join the girls and work on rockets. It was a little difficult teaching everyone the stoichiometry calculations required for the activity because not all of them have learned in school yet. However all the kids were so smart that they were able to pick it up right away when we showed them what to do. After everyone finished their calculations, they went outside and tested their rockets. It was so much fun! The best rocket stayed in air for a whole 2 seconds.

The rocket activity ended up taking the whole morning. After the break, we went in to the elevator pitch activity. We explained to the kids what elevator pitches are, had the kids write their own, and then they presented one by one in front of their groups. The students were surprising very good at it! And it was interesting to hear their career aspirations too. Some common ones were civil engineers, computer engineers, scientists and architects. There were also people who wanted to be zoologists and even fashion designers!

During teacher interaction we first learned about the political system in India. Then we presented on some of the recent inventions from the States, especially some new researches done in UofM. The teachers were very interested and were impressed that UofM had so many new inventions. Their physics teacher, in return, presented on the new discovery of the gravitation waves. At the end, we broke into small groups and learned a little bit of Muratti. We learned how to greet people, introduce ourselves and say thank you. It was so much fun and a great way to get to know the teachers better. They laughed a lot at our bad pronunciations haha.

It started pouring again right before we got back and the weather cooled down a lot which was great. After dinner we are going to get ready for the pizza circuit activity for tomorrow. I can’t wait to introduce it to the kids! I think they are going to love it :)

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