My Warsaw Diaries – By Isha Matta

My Warsaw Diaries – By Isha Matta

Oakridge students had the opportunity to attend the most exciting and unique Nord Anglia STEAM Festival held in Warsaw, Poland. The British School Warsaw (TBS) hosted its first Europe and the Middle East regional Nord Anglia STEAM Festival from 10th to 14th June 2019. With the theme “Pioneers of Tomorrow”, this festival exposed the NAE students to the advanced way of learning and doing.

The festival hosted over 200 students from 12 schools from around the Middle East and Europe. Oakridger Isha Matta, one of the participants at the STEAM festival shares her experience of the event and the various learnings she acquired during the 5-day program. Here are the excerpts from her journey:

This trip to the STEAM conference in Warsaw, Poland, was my first independent trip and was an excellent opportunity! On the first day, we went to the IMAX to educate ourselves with the experience of a few successful speakers who conveyed their opinions on how they achieved their goals. They also shared a few instances of their life which changed their perspectives on everything and how they changed their aims, like from an actress to engineer. It was a very interesting session!

My favorite part of the event was when the next day we had various workshops including engineering (bridge building), marketing, programming, wearable technology, working with drones, curiosity cube, 3D printing, and so much more. My personal favorites were Curiosity Cube and Spheros (programming). Curiosity Cube is a workshop where we get boxes filled with batteries, motors, LED lights, a balloon, earplugs, and all sorts of other things. All we need to do is see where our curiosity can take us. Spheros are sphere-shaped robots which can be programmed. My teammate and I worked hard on our Sphero and left the room proud. All the workshops helped me with my confidence and gave me a way I can add what I learned to my future career.

On our second day in Poland, we went to the IMAX again to watch a production called Dream Big, which is based on the engineering world. It was a truly inspiring video and pushed me to dream big! Post our workshops, we visited the Copernicus Science Museum and had exciting and fun hands-on activities. Later, we headed to the Old Town, a place in Warsaw which got destroyed due to World War Ⅱ. The entire town was rebuilt again, in the same model and was just beautiful beyond words.

The next day we put everything together in one project. We were given the challenge to help save the people in the war-torn country using all the learnings we have gathered so far. I was in the Team Musk and our project titled ‘Protecto’ had four subdivisions, Engineering (bridge building), Marketing, Wearable Technology, and Transportation (programming). We built a bridge sturdy enough for the people to safely cross rivers, without risking their lives under engineering. During this, I learned to handle different situations in life. For example, an engineer should know how to handle the situation when there is a shortage of items to build a bridge, building, etc. In this workshop, we had a limited amount of toothpicks, dough, and threads to build the bridge which will next be tested by keeping weights on it. This helped me to think more, better and faster.

We created two gadgets to showcase Wearable Technology. One is a Survival Strap which incorporates a box filled with tablets, a spray for burns and scratches, and a scanner which could detect diseases or any health problems. The other one is a Gas Mask that would filter any radiation and pollution in the air and let the person breathe properly. In the transport division, we had to program Spheros and drones to go through obstacle courses, which was interesting. Finally, for marketing, we had to advertise our company! I learned so much about science, technology, and more and I can use it in the future to achieve my goal of becoming an ophthalmologist.

The next day in the final showcase, we presented our company and what we did to help the people in the war torn city. We even had our own stall and it was the greenest stall out of all since Protecto’s colors are green, black, and white. It was an amazing experience! The best thing about the event is collaborating with students and teachers of other countries which offered me diverse knowledge. It helped me to think in different ways to make myself a better person. I had a lot of learning outcomes but above all, I got to know my inner self, my strengths, and weaknesses. I as an Oakridger who takes pride to be a participant in a global event.

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