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"I can't see the ball, but I'm all in"

Hey! Today was Day 3 of our outreach camp at Bharat Children’s Academy and Junior College in Walchandnagar. We kicked the day off with another early morning yoga session at BCA. When we arrived, we arranged ourselves on the mat and we used the breathing techniques that we learned yesterday. Today we incorporated more exercising into our yoga routine which was exciting! Principal Sir approached us after yoga and Melissa asked him if we could box with him. Every morning, we have seen Principal Sir and a couple of students boxing on the main stage located in the courtyard. We were VERY excited when he said yes! A couple of students helped us put our boxing gloves on and Principal Sir set up a punching bag on the main stage. He taught us how to do basic moves such as the hook and upper cut. After boxing, we boarded the bus to COB (the place we are staying for the week) and ate breakfast.

Melissa and Leah practicing their natural boxing skills before taking on Principal Sir

After our refueling session, we went back to BCA to begin the sessions! Like yesterday, we split the children into two groups to work on Lego Mindstorms and Rube Goldberg. Today’s Lego Mindstorm’s session focused on allowing students to add their own sensors and program the robots to follow a line. The objective of the Rube Goldberg session was to build a machine that moved a ping-pong ball in three steps. The students got very creative and loved it! They used principles that they have learned in the classroom such as conservation of momentum and circuitry. At noon, we split up and sat with the kids while they ate lunch. We played a variation of the name game and got to know the kids better. It is amazing to see how quickly the kids have opened up to us and they are always sweet and polite!

Erika with one of her groups working on the Rube Goldberg machine

Following lunch, the next session was Shark Tank. Students broke into their respective classrooms and groups (4 groups in room 1 and 2 each, 3 groups in room 3 and 4 each) and developed a list of problems that are caused by the “monsoon” that hit. One member of each group gave a short 30-second pitch describing the problem that their product/service/device/etc. will solve. Many students seemed nervous at the prospect of presenting, but they conquered their fears and did a fantastic job! Some examples of the problems that the groups will solve are the spread of diseases, destruction of farmland, and landslides. Then, we had the groups begin brainstorming possible solutions.

Rangoli is a lot harder than it looks, but the teachers were very patient with us!

We went home to eat lunch afterwards, and we were excited to see gulab jamun, a dessert that is similar to a donut hole soaked in syrup. It was amazing! We went back to BCA for the teacher interaction. Brooke gave a fantastic presentation about the admissions process at the University of Michigan. Many of the teachers inquired about the standardized tests that students are required to take (including the TOEFL), the status of affirmative action, and calendar dates for the academic semesters. Then the teachers taught us how to make rangoli! I now have a greater appreciation for the art form after seeing the beautiful flowers and symbols that the women made. I am inspired to practice making rangoli more so that I can be as good as they were! The teachers also let us play volleyball with them. We began playing a casual game (which I was a part of), until a teacher brought out a whistle, a clipboard, and a coin for a coin toss. Brooke, who played volleyball in high school, removed her glasses and said, “I can’t see the ball but I am all in.” Michigan beat BCA! I enjoyed coaching and taking photos from the sidelines. Today was a busy day, and we are looking forward to tomorrow!

The International Volleyball Champs

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