Friday, January 30, 2015
The air was filled with excitement....the kids had come to school in their pyjamas and their sleeping bags; the telescopes had been set-up on the terrace of our campus for our young star gazers of Grade 1 and Grade 2 and there was going to be some astronomical discussions over a hot cup of coco and cookies.
Though there was a little haze in the sky in the early evening, the constellations – like Ursa Major and Ursa Minor were clearly visible after midnight. Children first saw the waxing moon with the craters and then Jupiter and its 4 visible satellites - Io, Europa, Ganymede and Callisto known as the Galilean moons. Students were also informed about the Zodiac path which the planets take in the solar system through the day and night. The night sky got interesting, well into midnight when Saturn and other constellations including 'Scorpio' could be seen in a celestial show before sunrise. It was amazing to see the children imagine and wonder infinitely as they gazed at the night sky.
It was a delight to witness some of the children’s reactions, like - is that actually Jupiter, with its Moons??? A child of Grade 1 asking the facilitator on completion of her observation and drawing of the Jupiter “I have not completed my observation of the moon; can you turn the telescope for me to see the moon again”?
Children of Grade 2 made sure that teachers wake them up early morning to watch Saturn and learn more about the constellations. Children talking about sleeping patterns with each other, planning how to wake up with alarm clocks so they do not miss early morning observation time established their intrinsic motivation to learn.