India Expedition: Day 4 - July 9, 2018

Day 3-

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When the students take a day off for their weekend, that gives the TWSB Expedition team some time to explore our unique and historical surroundings!

The team spent a special day exploring the ancient Jageshwar temple. We learned and saw some impressive sights. Upon our return from the excursion, the team spent time preparing for our busy week ahead!

 

Day 4-

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Returning to the Himalayan Public School on Monday was a special experience. We started our day with an unforgettable assembly by the HPS students in the campus courtyard with the beautiful hills of Uttarakhand as a backdrop to their strong and united performance. The assembly consisted of the organization of students by grade, morning prayers, a patriotic song expressing gratitude towards their land, and the Indian national anthem. The commitment and focus of the students was especially unique and memorable!

After the assembly, the TWSB team took the opportunity to present the Indian TWSB Scholars with their scholarships. We were proud to award six high-performance students with well deserved scholarships that will provide a year's long tuition. Our next goal is to be able to provide 5-year scholarships to 15 students, based off of $12/month per student tuitions!
 

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We also had the privilege of contributing over 150 Pratham books to the HPS library, as well as stationary kits for every single HPS student at both campuses in Suyalgargh and Chopra (151 students!). The response from the students and teachers was overwhelming, and the enthusiasm was a great start to another collaborative and productive day.

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Again, our specialty teams went their separate ways to work on our various projects at the Himalayan Public School.

Our Art Director, Ruchi Shah, together with Expeditioner Carly led some of the younger students in a crafts exercise based on the "The Rainbow Fish" storybook to get them comfortable with using their hands for art. We will be relying on the HPS students' artistic abilities for the creation of the future book by Pratham Books.

UBC Economics Researcher, Nick Williams sat again with the HPS Headmaster and School Founder to iron out more details regarding the existing HPS financial model and the long term feasibility of a school bus model. Our hope is to establish a school bus model unique to Himalayan Public School that can meet their needs and enable an economically feasible revenue stream to sustain and grow their existing operations.

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Communications Director, Ran Sommer had the chance to sit down and speak with the new HPS Scholars and learn more about their background. It was an opportunity to understand how these exceptional students were able to get to such a point where they exhibit leadership to their peers and commitment to their education. Tremendous insight was uncovered during these conversations and it was a treat hearing their positive feedback on SiMBi and the Solar Power Classroom! Keep your eyes peeled for these exciting interviews!

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Throughout the day, Micah Stern, an Elementary School Teacher and Researcher spent her time solidifying her understanding of the Uttarakhand curriculum and syllabi that is used by the teachers and students at HPS. This process is extremely valuable as we begin aligning the curriculum loaded on the TWSB Raspberry Pi. Stay tuned on the progression of this important work!

Director of SiMBi Operations, Stephanie Mracovich spent her day collecting data on the literacy rates of some of the students who have used SiMBi over the last few months. Over the next few days she will continue collecting and consolidating this data as we determine the impact of SiMBi and student literacy at HPS!

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Our Executive Director Aaron Friedland began the day with each research team as they started their projects on the ground. From there, Aaron spent time working in the Solar Power Classroom, determining ways to improve and adapt its existing operations to maximize its productivity, and to best use the space effectively. Aaron also found some time to sit with a few students to test their literacy after 3 months of using SiMBi. A special moment occurred when Aaron was busy with one student, the two other students in queue intuitively opened up their own laptops while waiting their turn and chose to read SiMBi books on their own accord! Quite powerful!

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Our day was only able to move smoothly due to the exceptional support of Sukriti Sachar, the Director of India Operations. Aside from the massive amounts of preparation put in prior to the expedition to enact our research projects, Sukriti has acted as a translator in each of our initiatives at HPS to ensure productive communication takes place, making her presence invaluable to the expedition.
 

Another productive and impactful day at HPS! Looking forward to the next few days as we ramp up our projects!

Before heading to our guest house to prepare for the next day, our team had the pleasure of enjoying the beautiful Dhokane waterfalls. It was relaxing and refreshing after a busy day!

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