Going on my second month in Longyearbyen I have now started to know my way around the surrounding area; the closest mountain tops; the neighbouring valleys; and two of the adjacent glaciers. It is truly amazing to live in what looks like a postcard.
I am also starting to get to know pupils and staff at Longyearbyen school. I spent my two first weeks as an intern with the first graders, following their project about animal wildlife on Svalbard. I have also been on a ski trip to Bjørndalen with the sixth form students, where I got to talk a bit about “my” research project on reindeers, snowpack and climate change.
Furthermore, last week I started up a weekly ‘science-group’ for the fourth graders in the After-School Programme. The idea is to merge fun and educational activities, and we started off making homemade candy volcanoes. The experiment itself was simple, mixing baking soda with vinegar, dishwashing soap and food colouring to create an acid-base reaction where foamy colourful “lava” flooded out of volcanoes constructed by soda cans and tinfoil. It was all great fun (and a good mess), thus a success.
All in all, my doings so far at LYB school have been surprising in the sense that I get to plan and carry out so many different activities myself. I have been given a lot of freedom to come up with my own ideas, and I am learning a lot from working with pupils of different ages. I also enjoy being a student and a “teacher” at the same time, and I think it will give me some valuable new perspectives on learning. I actually got the question from one of the kids if I were a proper grown-up or not, and I think it sums up my preliminary experiences as an intern at LYB school pretty well, hehe.
I look forward to gain more teaching experience, and to see even more ways of applying biology knowledge.