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Students applied Science and Design Knowledge joining the Nationale Onderwijstentoonstelling (NOT)

From 24 -28 January our school had the pleasure of actively participating as student helpers at the Nationale Onderwijstentoonstelling (NOT) Fair at the Jaarbeurs in Utrecht. The students acted as spokespersons for Junior IOT (Internet of Things) delivering inside knowledge of the company’s goals and teaching their content to visitors from various schools around the Netherlands. This way Junior IOT and the International School Utrecht worked together to build bridges between technology and school curriculum.

by Poyee Li-Sumpton, Design teacher and Anna, Saachi, Mia-Jolie, Milena, Rithwick, Sanvi, Arya, Aarti Nandini and Elena, students grade 8 and 9

As Junior IOT was collaborating with FabCreator, a small Dutch business that sells Laser cutters and the technology to primary and secondary schools, our students ended up helping and supporting the small team and gained a lot more knowledge about laser cutting.

During their time at NOT our students have been exposed to a more active role within the community of educators and saw how life can be from the other side by teaching visitors of all ages technology in education.

All our students in the team loved the opportunity of volunteering for Junior IOT. Please take the time to read their reports.

‘I personally have never done anything like this before, and I thoroughly enjoyed it. When we had done our unit about soldering, I was confident with the things I knew to do, however when I volunteered for the NOT fair, I was worried I did not have enough experience with soldering, or I was not good enough. When I got there, I was already overwhelmed and impressed with how the fair looked like. The people I was there with helped me a lot with speaking to “customers” and if I was struggling with anything. We were allowed to be a lot more creative and independent than I thought we would be. We also got to walk around and learn new things. It was very rewarding when we managed to get people to sign up for the organisation we were working with as it felt like we had done a good job. I am very happy that I went to the NOT fair and I would definitely like to do something like this again.’

– Anna (grade 9)

‘Participating and Volunteering for Junior IOT and being a part of the NOT fair was very rewarding and an exceptional experience. Helping Junior IOT direct technical knowledge about soldering and laser printing to other teachers and learners at the fair was joyful. Through this fair, I personally also developed my technical knowledge about soldering and circuits and learned about operating a laser printer. At this fair, I also learned about many other new ideas from other stalls. Even though sometimes while demonstrating I made mistakes but through this, I overcame my fear and also built my confidence as we had to talk to the audience when they arrived at the stall to explain the process and help them build their small circuit. Overall, it was a great experience and I have taken a lot of learning and memories from this fair and would love to be a part of it again.’

– Saachi (grade 9)

‘I had a great time at the NOT fair and I wish I could have stayed for a few more days. It was wonderful to be able to pass on our knowledge to others. We also had the opportunity to explore the entire NOT fair, and it was amazing! I did not imagine it to be this engaging and enjoyable.’

– Mia-Jolie (grade 8)

‘The NOT fair was an amazing experience, and I was really glad to be invited to participate and represent ISU. Being there with friends in such an exciting environment helped me to build connections, and to get closer to some people. I truly enjoyed making new friends and having the chance to talk to and help so many people. A large part of the people who were interested in learning how to solder were elderly people. During our guided tutorials, many of them said, that soldering reminded them of their childhood and how they used to solder too. This, in particular, made me extremely happy, and even though it wasn’t exactly what we were planning to do, bringing joyful memories while building a new one was so special to me. Watching my friends supporting good causes and taking action was something that I appreciated the most. It was great to be there with Mrs. Nadia, Mrs. Ana, and also, Mrs. Li, and Mrs. Z on the second day. They are incredible teachers, and spending these two days with them was a pleasure!’

– Milena (grade 8)

‘My favourite part about the NOT fair was how creative and unique all the different stalls were. I learnt something new at all the stalls and the people working there were very nice and were always ready to explain and demonstrate with their cool gadgets.’

– Rithwick (grade 8)

‘The NOT fair is a science and design fair that promotes companies and their ideas and it was nice to take part in the fair. The part of the fair that I enjoyed the most was walking around with my friends collecting items from companies for free but also just enjoying the time I got with them to spend with my friends at the fair!’

– Sanvi (grade 8)

‘During the NOT fair, I had faced many new challenges and experiences. This fair helped me learn new skills like; how to invite customers to our tent, how to engage with people you haven’t met before, how to talk to new people etc. The thing that I cherished the most was teaching our visitors how to solder and showing them how to laser print using the laser printer and teaching them a new skill. Overall, it was a fun experience and I would definitely do it another time, but the thing I would change is how long we are there at the fair, since 8 hours is a bit too much and I got very tired at the end of the day.’

– Arya (grade 9)

‘I enjoyed talking to teachers and visitors about how to create lights, what kind of stall Junior IOT was and how to sign up for more information. I was happy to see so many teachers interested in organizing this experience for their students. I had fun creating lights myself and exploring the fair where there was so much to see and do. I hope to participate again when the fair returns!’ – Nandini (grade 8)

‘My favourite experience at the NOT fair was meeting new people who were also enthusiastic about soldering and technology’

‘For me, the best experience at the NOT fair was interacting with the visitors who came to try to solder their own LED lights. I found it rewarding to teach people to do so through demonstrations because, for most of them, this was a unique and exciting experience. It was difficult at times because I wasn’t the student that was being taught anymore, the roles were suddenly reversed, and I could feel the pressure of the spotlight that is cast upon educators. Also, it was rewarding to spread awareness about the importance of incorporating technology and innovation into education, as ISU already does through subjects like design.’

– Aarti (grade 9)

‘Participating at the NOT fair was one of the best things I have ever done. It was full of new experiences and thoughts as well as just so much fun in general. I remember seeing the building full of stands and people for the first time and barely believing it was real. It was so much fun to learn how to solder and to teach others to do so too. But it was also a blast to be able to just walk around with some of your favourite people and get to see an endless amount of new things from books to drones to plants. I remember that for almost the entire time I dreaded leaving because I had so much fun. The group I went with all got along really well and some interactions I made in this fair I’ll never forget. Over all, the memories I made and the things I learnt in these two days I will treasure forever.’

– Elena (grade 8)

Mr. Alex, Ms. Nadia, Ms. Ana and I had the pleasure of working with a small group each day and seeing them blossoming and gaining confidence in teaching and speaking Dutch to anyone, collaborating with various other stalls around us just to help out when an extra hand was needed. We hope we can collaborate again with these students with the view of enhancing technology at our school. We also cannot wait for NOT to come back in 2025!

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