The first programme of JUST DILIJAN IT! 2017, “Explore: The Human Being”, was held on 7–20 June at the UWC Dilijan international school campus. More than 60 children took part in the two-week programme, during which experts and camp counsellors held some amazing interactive classes with the kids in 10 laboratories.
“Amazement was the key word for this first session: a child’s amazement at all the things they could do, and the adults’ amazement at the kids’ ideas and creativity,” Sergey Korneev, the expert at the JUST DILIJAN IT! Intellectual Games laboratory, said.
Each participant picked a laboratory to their liking and in just 14 days launched his or her own project. During the final presentation, the children showcased their personal and collective projects for the audience of their parents and guests.
Students of the Computer Technology lab created seven animated movies, including claymation, as well as an interactive map of Dilijan landmarks.
“Many kids worked on the map of the city of Dilijan. The children visited all the significant sights of Dilijan, then they created a map pinpointing all the landmarks and put stories about them into QR-codes. The children had to do research and even get help from locals to collect important historical information. The kids also collected plant specimens reflecting the plant kingdom of Dilijan,” Olga Ryasnaya-Bredikhina, the curator of the Computer Technology laboratory at JUST DILIJAN IT! said.
The Natural Sciences laboratory presented “Cell Art”, a project about plants. During the presentation, the participants conducted experiments before the amazed audience, showing what “medicinal potion-making” really means.
The Photography lab ended its session with a group exhibition of modern art, which featured three projects: a series of staged photographs depicting the colours of Armenia, mockumentary-style pictures, as well as experiments with different hand printing techniques, such as photograms and cyanotypes.
The Intellectual Games laboratory unveiled a prototype of a board game created from scratch. Participants of the Music lab presented eight videoblogs. One of the participants of the Humanitarian Research laboratory, with writer Alexey Oleynikov at the helm, wrote the first chapters of a short novel, which were then made into a book and printed in a 20-copy edition.
Another project, “About Granny”, was created in the genre of video poetry. One of the participants drew, shot, narrated and directed – all by himself – an animated movie produced using the stop-motion technique. For the “How to draw a bird” project, experts studied the works of Jacques Prévert. One of his works was brought to life with the help of animation, which added new depth to it.
During the Theatre lab, the “Noah’s Ark” performance was produced and submitted for the parents’ and guests’ approval during the final presentation.
Apart from the interactive classes at JUST DILIJAN IT! the children went camping, got to know Armenia better, went on an outdoor activity course, tried zip-lining, learned to dance, played football and tennis, went swimming, solved quests, discussed literature, competed in a “What? Where? When?” game, held a water fight and the Holi festival of colours, painted, took photos and operated robots.