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Sc3x-Student Conservation Corps & Congress: International Conservation Training Programme, 2017 at the Maria's Braveheart Eco Camp, Rajasthan.

e are indeed glad to have been able to organise a second Sc3x (Student Conservation Corps & Congress) at the Maria's Braveheart, our very own Conservation Training Facility in Rajasthan, India. Inspired by the OST- Open Space Technology Education Methodology, as was introduced to us by the Green Schools Alliance during Sc3 events in West Virginia, USA during the years 2015 and 2016, we have been able to mould the education paradigms associated with Conservation and Environmental Awareness giving it a Global yet Local perspective.With student and teacher participants from Delhi Public School, Raipur & Greenwood High International School, Bangalore, this 4 day Conservation Education/Training Camp was a grand success as it generated far-reaching, significant learning outcomes. From this Sc3x event Maria's Public School aims at selecting two student participants from DPS and Greenwood to join the Indian Delegation Team to go USA this year to the Student Conservation Corps & Congress, 2017 at the National Conservation Training Center, West Virginia, USA. Students have gone back to their respective schools with Action Plans which they will be using for projects related to conservation within the next 6 months. Thanks to Mrs.Nellie Ahmed Tanweer, Founder & Managing Trustee, Maria's Public School and the National Coordinator for the Green Schools Alliance - India for her ever encouraging support and directions which enabled us to transform our dreams into actions.Thanks to Margaret Howard Watson, Kathryn Perry, Sharon Jaye, Arlae and everyone from the Green School Alliance who have taught us so much over the past 2-3 years. Thanks to teachers like David Dave Havens David Salazar and Juan Elizondo who have been a part of the positive driving force behind our learning outcomes. Thanks to Patricia Carabelli, Barbara Sing, Kim Davies for constantly encouraging us, sharing their work with us and giving our programmes that special Global Dimension. With the inspiration that we continue to get from you, Conservation Education at Maria's Public School, Guwahati, Assam, India is now..truly Global!

Report: by Preeti Bandyopadhyay, Teacher, DPS, Raipur

iodiversity degradation is a matter of deep concern. But people working on this are relatively less. One of the chief reasons is that half of the world’s population lives in urban areas as most of these people are disconnected from mother nature. These inadequacies at times lead to weaknesses if not checked at proper time.

In order to overcome this, an experience based environmental learning programme was launched by Maria’s Public School Guwahati, Assam at the Maria’s Braveheart Camp in Gailpur(Rajasthan) under the able guidance of Mrs Nellie Ahmed Tanweer, the Founder & Managing Trustee. It was her brainchild which taught students to live in close proximity with nature. She rendered a rare opportunity students to learn from nature. This programme was co-ordinated by Mr Biswajit De, Naturalist & Ornithologist and a technically creative person. His main area of work is the study of avian population. He taught students to survey, record and report population of birds. He also taught Children to operate ICT Tools, such as the GPS to study avian population.

Children poured their energy in playing in lawns Braveheart camp in Gailpur whenever they could squeeze out time from various intelligent, innovative and creative activities. On the first day we were given open air tents, mattresses, T-shirts & caps. Next day, we all went to a local government school near Gailpur in camel carts – a lifetime experience. A herd of buffaloes wandered in fields. They were followed by women in brightly coloured sarees, water gourds balanced on their elegant heads. Smoke rose from cooking fires of village homes and aromatic smell filled the air too.

Our next destination was majestic Jaipur. Children by now, on way to Jaipur in bus, started recognising some birds-a magnificent achievement for them at this tender age. Not to forget the grandeur of Amber Fort which is unforgettable. After returning from Jaipur children attended sessions of Australian Conservationists Kim Davis and Barbara Sing. Students showed their inquisition throughout these sessions. Parting is always sad. But it also paved way for the students to connect with mother nature. This educational trip catered to more than one learning styles especially getting away from the everyday atmosphere of classroom. From making their presentations showcasing their learning outcomes to finding caterpillars and chrysalis within the campus, bird watching early in the morning to actual field work, Braveheart Camp was able to realize the vision of Maria's - Learning beyond the Classroom.

The students of DPS Raipur had benefitted immensely from the November Education Programme and were enriched by the unique teaching methodologies of the Teacher Mentors, who made learning fun and interesting. I feel privileged to have been chosen by my school to accompany the team of students and I strongly state the fact that I have learnt a lot more too. We would definitely want to come back and join such Educational Programmes in future and hope to learn a lot more.

-Preeti Bandyopadhyay
Teacher, DPS, Raipur