Swiss Innovation Camp
The Swiss Innovation Camp was a 7 day camp where 4 students accompanied by a teacher travelled to Geneva, Switzerland from 13th - 19th October 2019. The camp aimed to immerse the children in the scientific innovation brewing in Geneva, which is the innovation hub of Switzerland. The Camp included workshops at CERN as well as other leading Swiss research centres. The aim of the program was to build an understanding of the Swiss Innovation Ecosystem and what makes it successful. The workshops gave the students the opportunity to experience different scientific innovation centres, interact with leading scientists involved in cutting edge research, and get a glimpse of what a career in science looks like. It also aimed to inspire children towards design thinking and research.
The main attraction of the workshop was the visit to CERN, the largest experiment in the world that aims to answer the big questions of life - ‘Where did we come from?’ , ‘What are we made of?’ and ‘Where are we going?’. Students visited CERN and learnt about its history, mission and sociology by interacting with a Physicist. They also discussed experimental tools, innovation and impact. Students visited one of the 4 particle detectors at the Large Hadron Collider - CMS (Compact Muon Solenoid) in France. They went 100 meters below ground level to see the particle detector at arm’s length. The students participated in a team activity at the Globe of Innovation at CERN where they learnt many facts about CERN and particle physics in the process of completing a team challenge.
The students experienced a guided tour to the United Nations Headquarters, where they learnt about the history and functioning of the headquarters. They even witnessed a live United Nations session from the gallery. The students were made familiar with the 17 United Nations Sustainable Development Goals which are a part of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development adopted by 193 Member States at the UN General Assembly Summit in September 2015. They then participated in a UN SDG challenge where they had to use technology to come with a design to contribute to one or more of the UN SDGs in teams.
The students participated in a competitive Robotics and Coding workshop where they learnt how to program a robot to perform the stipulated task, in teams of two.
The students visited the first IB school ever - Ecolint, and witnessed the marvel of the progressive educational system. They participated in a STEAM Project at their STEAM lab, where they created an ECG machine with the materials available. They also learnt to create designs using a Wiacom.
The students visited the Biopark - the Biotechnology Innovation centre in Geneva. There, they were introduced to advances in the field of Biotechnology and the use of technology to support healthcare. For example, the students saw a small implantable device that can be be used to monitor the occurrence and frequency of Epilepsy in patients, helping in proper management of the disease. The students were introduced to the Blue Brain Project which is in the process of mapping the brain functioning with all its complexities, which will allow a better understanding of the functioning of the brain.
Biomotion workshop attempted to explain the laws of physics by using live demonstrations. Learning was enjoyable and interactive for the students.
Apart from the many workshops, the students participated in a Treasure Hunt where the students went out in teams to solve the clues, exploring the prominent places through Geneva in the process.
A days trip to Chamonix, France was the highlight of the trip. The group went for a hike with a guide in a small French Village amidst breathtaking landscapes. They also went atop a mountain via a cable car and explored the French Alps.
The trip saw cultural immersion in food and Swiss mannerisms. Our children got to learn the Swiss values of punctuality, cleanliness, and courtesy. New friendships with students of other schools in the group were formed. Students got a chance to be responsible and independent. It was a truly enriching experience for the students.