Sunday, October 5, 2014

Day 4 @ Pondicherry

The day started with a mouth-watering breakfast. Since it was the last day we all went to Auroville, which is also known as  " City Of Dawn"  to have a quality time with never ending memories. It was  founded in 1968 by Mirra Alfassa and designed by architect Roger Anger. 

" There should somewhere on earth a place with no nation could claim as its own, where all human beings of good will who have a a sincere aspiration, could lively freely as citizens of the world and obey one single authority, that of the supreme truth; a place of peace, concord and harmony.."
-The Mother-

We came back from Auroville during noon and started our journey back to our homes. It was great that we got the opportunity to help them by giving a hand to build their homes. The memories we made with them will always remain in our hearts.

Habitat for Humanity @ Pondicherry day 3

The day started off with a wakeup call from the reception at 7:00 AM. We left the hotel around 8:30am to go to the village Marakanam. Upon our arrival we met the headmaster and the teachers who showed us the rooms that need to be painted and shared their problems with us.
Before we started our work, our guide and manager, Mr. Jason explained to us exactly what we were supposed to do, its importance, and its significance. We had to first scrap the walls with sandpaper to remove the oil and dust, then wipe the walls with a cloth to remove the peeling paint. We then repainted the walls black. After it dried we segregated the wall with white lines and painted individual slots for each student.
We painted the lower part of the wall using blackboard paint for the students use as slates because they find it hard to buy slates or books for a whole year. Hence, Habitat for Humanity is helping the school paint the walls. Not only did they not have the supplies but they also didn’t have the means to afford this on their own.
"By just moving one brick, we can make a huge difference in someone else's life." This is what we have done today, and it makes us feel proud and honoured to have done it.
After the exhausting and physically taxing activity, we came back to the hotel to eat lunch and rest till 4:00 pm, after which we headed out for shopping and sightseeing.

While roaming the city, we visited a famous church which was built in the 1800s. We also visited the Aurobindo ashram where there were many people sitting peacefully and praying. We chanced upon a nearby famous temple. After walking around a bit more we went to a local Tibetan shop and bought a few souvenirs. We returned to the bus around 7 and headed straight for dinner. After dinner we all retired to bed. It was a smemories forever.

Habitat for humanity at Pondicherry

Though we knew what we were in for today, we didn't quite just understand what was ahead of us until we actually got there. We started off with breakfast and went to the village in the bus. Little did we know how much impact the work we were about to do would have on the family and on us. As soon as we got there, Mr.Jason introduced us to the family and explained to us their situation. we went into their current home and found that they used a single room that  served all their purposes.  Srinivasan, the son in the family, told us that he was unable to study properly because they didn't hav any ventilation or lighting. He told us that the new house would help him not only study better but also motivate him to go to school more. After understanding how important this house was for them, it was finally time for us to get to work. 
Our main task for the day was to sift enough sand to plaster the entire home. However, it turns out that due to rain on  the previous night, it was not possible for us to directly sift the sand. we ended up taking around 250 pans of sand and spreading it down the street and on the roof of the home. This proved to be unexpectedly hard. However, we were motivated to hep the family and went on. After a hard morning session we decided to break for lunch., after which we decided to then come back and complete the remaining work. It turned out that we were able to finish work that was meant for 2 hours within 30 minutes. We didn't know know that we had it in us. All we knew was that we had to finish all the work and better this family's life in some way. Despite the heat and fatigue, we drove on and finally finished the task. At the end of it, we were so proud of all the work that we did and were actually very surprised that we even had the ability to do a task of such extent. We were also quite pleased by how efficiently we were when we worked together as a team. We understood that we were much stronger as a team rather than as individuals. By the end of our task, we were genuinely pleased by the worked that we had done. 
"As oakridgers and having grown up in privileged homes, we've never quite understood the struggles of those who aren't as privilegesd. however, today was one of those days that made us feel so much gratitude for everything that we have and made us want to do whatever we can to help the people who actually need it.  At the end of the day we were absolutely tired and grimy but so proud of all our work." -Anjani

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Monday, September 29, 2014

CAS Trip to Pondicherry- Day 1

Our journey began on 29th September at 7am. We gathered at the airport, all set and ready to go to Chennai.  After having checked in, brimming with excitement we departed from Hyderabad. We landed in Chennai at 9:55am, where we met Mr. Jason from Habitat for Humanity. He then took us to our buses for our 3 and half hour journey to Pondicherry. The bus ride was filled with music, snacks and sleeping. We stopped at a coffee shop on the way and had some of the best filter coffee. There were a lot of refreshments and snacks provided on the bus as well.
At around 1pm, we finally reached Athithi Hotel where we were welcomed by the staff in their traditional ways along with towels and drinks. After having decided the rooms, we went upstairs to freshen up and get ready for lunch. The rooms were big and beautiful and met our requirements. We met downstairs where we were served with a vast buffet of exquisite food that we enjoyed thoroughly.
Stuffed with food, we all headed back to one of our friends’ rooms and talked, played and laughed till we were called for an orientation by Mr. Jason at around 5pm. We assembled at the lobby and Mr. Jason told us about all the beautiful facilities that hotel offered. He also briefed us about the village that we were going to and do’s and don’ts we must abide by as habitat volunteers. He also told us about the culture and the various sightseeing spots as Pondicherry is known for its tourism.
After the orientation, we decided to go for a walk nearby. We had a glimpse of the culture through the cities markets and we also visited one of the historic prisons. The prison was built under the French rule almost 300 years ago.  Although it had been converted into a parking lot, you could still see the bars and cells.
After a little sightseeing, we headed back to the hotel; ate dinner and went to bed excited and eager to start our volunteering work the next morning.


Sunday, September 28, 2014

Help floods for Jammu and Kashmir by Oakridge Newton Campus

For the first time in a long time, Jammu and Kashmir had one of the most devastating floods it has ever seen. During the first week of September, these regions had experienced the heaviest rainfall in the past 60 years. This torrential rainfall began on the 2nd of September and continued for multiple days after that, leaving thousands suffering in the wreckage and ruin the weather had caused. By the 7th of September, over 1000 villages were hit, 300 were completely submerged, and over 400 people were dead. A majority of the surviving citizens were stranded either inside their homes or on top of their roofs; without any access to food or other basic necessitie.
 We decided to take matters into our own hands, and thought of ways in which we could contribute to the relief of these victims. We were determined to help those suffering the best we could and used this determination to start a flood drive in our school. We contacted organisations that were transporting items to the affected areas and spread awareness at school. Being students of the XI grade, we felt we would have a greater influence on those of the lower grades and that we could encourage them to donate to a cause as worthy as this. We passed out flyers, gave students a list of prioritized requirements and placed boxes around the school’s campus for students to place their donations in.
But during the first few days of planning the drive, we slowly grew concerned and pessimistic about the idea, in fear of not getting the reaction and response we’d hoped this notion would receive. However, our apprehension was met with a wonderful surprise– the boxes were filled to the rim with donations from all grades. In the end, we had 550 soaps, 104 juice boxes, 50 ready to eat MTR packets, 100 savlon bottles, 5 packs of toothpastes, 10 toothbrushes, 100+ dry milk powder packets, 10 coconut water bottles, juice bottles and 40 packs of sanitary napkins. We were so proud and ecstatic to find that our initiative had received such enthusiasm and cooperation and even through the tiring hours of packing this huge number of supplies, this pride kept us going. We’re so grateful to all of those that took the time to donate and so profoundly happy that we could help the flood victims in their time of need.  
 –Nidhi Reddy and Chahat Rana, IB XI, Oakridge International School Newton Campus


Friday, September 26, 2014

A world of exploration

The students of nursery were a bundle of energy. They were a learning in action. From knowing all about me to GOOD HABITS, the students came with new eagerness to learn. Knowing about body parts to the importance of hygiene, students are now more aware about their personal care and safety. Some of the activities done by the students are table etiquettes, praying, greeting others, brushing teeth, outdoor playing, washing hands, cleaning nose of teddy bear and, watering the plants. They also learnt to use three magical words i.e. thank you sorry and please.

A trip to Birla Planetarium to know more about MOM

The Mars Orbiter Mission (MOM), informally called Mangalyaan, is a Mars orbiter launched into Earth orbit on 5th November 2013 by the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO). It entered orbit around Mars on 24th September 2014. The G.P. Birla Astronomical Observatory and Research Centre, in this connection, organized a day long Mars Camp on September 24, 2014 focusing on Mars for 6th to 10th class school children and teachers from 10.30 a.m. to 3.00 p.m. to create awareness about the ongoing research on planet Mars. A total of 110 students from Oakridge registered for the program. The program started with a seminar by Dr. S.M Ahmed, former ISRO scientist and now a professor in HCU. Dr. Ahmed spoke about the planet Mars and how proud we are as India is the only country to have this successful achievement in the very first attempt. India is the 4th country to have this achievement and the 1st Asian country to have the same. MOM will also study the atmosphere of Mars, using a methane gas sniffer, in a bid to unearth presence of Martian microbes if any. The seminar ended with an interesting interactive session between the speaker and the students. Please find attached a collage of pics from the trip.
India is the only country to have this.



The students of IX, J visited MMPS Govt school on 22 Sept, 2014 as part of their CAS program. The school has classes from nursery to grade 5. Our students had a great experience teaching them Maths, English and Arts. The primary students were excited to see the older students teaching them. I was very impressed with the way the students had maintained their class soft boards. With whatever resources they had, they had really done a great job. Also, the way they wished all of us when we entered their classroom was heart warming. The scene when we were coming back was equally touching as they were after the students to stay for some more time. Please find below some pictures from the trip.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Bees in a spelling spree

On 24th Sept Junior school had the spell bee program. The day started off with a colourful morning with kids wearing black and yellow dresses like bees.
Grade 5 was also part of this program. Every student participated in the first round of spell bee. The top two scorers were selected from each section who went on for a second round which was a quiz. The kids enjoyed the program as much as the teachers did.

A Tree Through Seasons

Children collaborated   to create a four-season display that illustrates the life cycle of an apple tree.
Winter: Children did thumb paint branches with a watered-down mixture of water and white glue to create a frosty, wintry look.
Spring: Children dipped the flower mould and made prints on the tree to make blossoms. .
Summer: Children pasted cut out of small red apples to the tree.
Autumn: Children pasted cut out of yellow leaves to represent changing autumn leaves.

NMDC Field Trip Report

The morning’s atmosphere on Saturday, 20-September-2014 was filled with anticipation as the science students of Grade 12 CBSE Senior Secondary Segment, Newton Campus gathered outside the school building, ready for an exciting day. We boarded the school buses and reached the NMDC an hour later.
We assembled at the front room of the research unit where the head of research welcomed us and gave us a briefing about the different divisions of the establishment. The NMDC is a research facility to which industrialists send samples of mined minerals. The NMDC’s role is to check whether the mineral can be profitably extracted in a large scale by emulating the process in the laboratory scale. Consequently, they chart out a metallurgical plan to economically extract the metal. This in turn acts as advice to the industrialists as to whether or not they should invest in the project.
We began our tour around the facility, at the Analytical research lab, where we were shown the different methods of analytical testing for purity of the samples. Next, we went to the pilot plant where the separation techniques and the metallurgical extraction and refinement processes take place in the intermediate scale. One interesting apparatus that we saw was a ‘spiral ladder’ which separated impurities from the metal on the basis of differences in specific gravities. Later, we met Mr. Bhagwan Singh who took us to an Iron furnace. He explained to us that on a large scale, carbon is used as the reducing agent in the furnace, which consequently emits carbon dioxide as a by-product. He told us that at NMDC’s pilot plant, they use hydrogen, which releases water as a by-product, in an effort to be environmentally friendly. We went to the nanotechnology division, where we learnt how the NMDC converts the by-products from metal extraction, to useful materials.
Throughout the trip, the students were thoroughly engaged. We were especially excited because our theoretical knowledge was being put to use practically. This field trip brought life to the words in our textbook lessons. Many of the students even decided that they want to pursue a career in the metallurgical field! All the students of Grade 12 –Science would like to thank Ms. Shaila, our Chemistry teacher, for giving us this wonderful opportunity. In addition, we thank Ms. Rukmani for accompanying us and making this fieldtrip an enlightening adventure!
Supriya Subramanian
Grade 12 C
CBSE Senior Secondary Segment



The class had completed reading, The of Adventures of Robin Hood… So as part of Contract Activity the class was divided into five groups. The groups took turns to pose questions and answer them as well. The question-answer session was loved by all… They learnt what they didn’t know and polished their learning at the same time... It was loved by all!!        

CAS on Health and Hygiene

On 24 th September Pre-primary newton campus planned a CAS programme on HEALTH AND HYGIENE, awareness about importance of hygiene like washing hands through 6 steps.Each one of them participated with lots of enthusiasm, discussed the different occasions where they need to wash their hands, such as after using the toilet, before eating, after handling pets, after playtime.They also exchanged views on how to take care themselves during cough and cold.
Gave demos while using tissues without wasting them .Eating fruits is very healthy but cleaning them before eating is very important.
Children had one-on-one interaction session where each child was paired with their peer who talked to them and informed them about the general ways to improve their hygiene, and to maintain health.