A group of boys studying the International Baccalaureate (IB) took delivering their fascinating science presentations to primary schools via Zoom a step further this week when they linked up with around 50 children from the Morogoro International School in Tanzania, East Africa.
While the boys have become quite adept at presenting their fun and engaging presentations over Zoom to local primary schools, this time they had to adapt them for an audience whose first language was not English, which posed more of a challenge. Not only that, but working remotely, the boys did not have the reassurance of being together in person. However, this did not stop them from delivering some fabulous facts, from their bedrooms, all the way to a classroom in Africa—where there was even a tropical storm underway! Quite the contrast from a drizzly January day in the UK.
Lower Sixth Former Alex Edun, who led one of the groups, said afterwards that the experience forced him out of his comfort zone: “It made me aware of the people out there who also love to learn really. It’s very easy to stay comfortable and present to your peers and mates, but I was happy to take a challenge and go international. It felt cool to present to children all the way in Tanzania, even though my partner accidentally said my part! I would definitely do it again.”
The boys did a great job, and the feedback from the children in Tanzania was overwhelmingly positive. The teachers there told us that the children really enjoyed the presentations and got a lot out of them, and those that popped into the classroom said they were great.
One teacher in Tanzania said, “The children benefitted I think from the cultural aspect of hearing from children living in England. Some of my students were amazed they were seeing and hearing from students from another country. That was inspiring for them.”
The children themselves said afterwards:
“I loved the one with the crazy magician. He got up so high with the balloons! It was really interesting.” Abdul, aged 10.
“The one with the aquarium in his stomach, how did he do that? I loved it!” Zach, aged 11.
“My dad is a scuba instructor. It was good to learn about what happens.” Tariq, aged 8.
Director of IB Adrian Finch, who has helped the boys to think of more creative ways to fulfil the Creativity, Activity and Service (CAS) element of the IB programme, explained, “I am full of admiration for the progress of our Lower Sixth Bedford School IB students this year and the way that they have used technology to overcome the challenges of lockdown. Their initial reflective thinking involved research and gaining knowledge to plan a collaborative IB science project. The students then showed confidence and creativity in communication of their projects to a range of audiences over Microsoft Teams, making a genuine difference to the education of others: our own Prep School, Hills Academy and, today, a school in Tanzania. The students have used and developed skills that will be vital for them in Higher Education and the world of work, and they have done so with compassion and integrity.”