The final programme of the JUST DILIJAN IT! 2017 summer season, “Explore: The Future” saw almost 70 kids taking part. On 3 August parents and guests arrived at the UWC Dilijan campus for a glimpse of the new projects that the participants had been working on for two weeks.
The kids’ team from the “Humanitarian research” laboratory presented a model of the city of the future. They showed how it might appear, which laws would govern it, what kind of transport and education systems would function there, how it would care for the environment, whether there would be any monopolies in the city and how crime could be managed. The participants worked out the answers to all these questions through passionate discussions.
The kids in the “Natural sciences” lab conducted a masterclass for the parents, explaining how to extract DNA from fruit and pigments from flower petals. Then they described how we’ve actually got two kilograms of living bacteria inside us and on our skin: how they help and harm us, how they can cause stress and damage our health, how we can combat harmful germs, and how new genetic technologies in the field of medicine can prevent and treat some of the most serious diseases.
The “Intellectual games” lab revealed an unusual interactive exhibition. Some black boxes contained a variety of everyday items: a simple T-shirt, some headphones, and instructions with a QR-code. By opening the link from the code, the guests could hear the stories that the kids recorded about the item. The kids narrated their experiences of the items in their own words, and the narratives together with the items became museum exhibits of the future.
One of the highlights of the day was a fire dance by robots, which the “Robotics” lab prepared for the guests. In the “Computer technology” laboratory, the young researchers, using mathematics, learned to analyse large amounts of data and build models. The children presented a study of the population of Dilijan in the form of graphs and tables, and examined the data from new angles in order to draw their own original conclusions. Another project, which the kids from the “Computer technology” lab got involved in, along with almost all the participants of the “Explore: The Future” programme, was the study of stress resistance. It showed that the children had little or no stress in the camp, while the adults, on the contrary, experienced a lot more.
In the “Art” lab, the kids not only thought up and created their own gallery – one of the participants set out to show his fashion collection, which ended with a very special wedding dress made from newspaper and a festoon. And later, young artists put on a performance presenting vivid costumes, also made from newspapers.
Can robots or gadgets seize power from people? Are they designed to help us or keep us under control? The kids in the “Theatre” and “Film and photography” labs applied themselves to answering these questions, and put on a showing of a short film they made over the two weeks called “Can You See Me Now?”
In the evening, there was a lively concert where the kids played musical instruments and performed a variety of songs.