Can the weather and cloudy sky of the colorful yet cold autumn and frosty winter have any influence on the vivacity of Ayb School life? Definitely not, and it is evidenced by the cheerfulness and joyousness that overwhelmed every corner of Ayb School in the last quarter of 2016.
On October 10, Ayb School and the Goethe-Institut signed a memorandum of cooperation, according to which Ayb School became a Goethe-Institut partner school, within the framework of the “Schools: Partners for the Future” (PASCH) initiative. As a partner school, Ayb is now an institution ensuring high-quality profound teaching of German, which will provide our students with broader opportunities to continue their education in Germany.
The ceremony was attended by Deputy Director of the Goethe-Institut Gerlinde Massoudi, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Federal Republic of Germany in the Republic of Armenia Matthias Kiesler, Deputy Minister of Education and Science of the RA Manuk Mkrtchyan, Chairman of the Ayb School Board of Trustees Fr. Mesrop Aramian, Ayb School Head Aram Pakhchanian, and other officials.
PASCH is a network covering more than 1800 schools from all over the world, in which particular attention is paid to German.
In October, Ayb School was recognized as a BioMedical Admissions Test (BMAT) center. This is an admissions test for applicants to General Medicine, Veterinary Medicine, Biomedical Science, and Dentistry courses at different universities of the world.
Exchange of experience
On October 21, Ayb School held a simultaneous distance lesson connecting with the school of Lernadzor village in Kapan region, Sevan school No. 1, and Ijevan school No. 5. The lesson was conducted within the framework of the concept of development of rural schools. The event was attended by RA Minister of Education and Science Levon Mkrtchyan.
The first course on “Electrical Power Generation and its Properties” was held in Chemistry and Physics. After experiment demonstrations and the subsequent Q&A session, the excited students were assigned to generate electricity from an apple and lemon.
From December 4 to 9, Ayb School hosted students from Nazarbayev Intellectual School of Chemistry and Biology from Ust-Kamenogorsk city, Kazakhstan. A memorandum of cooperation was signed between the two schools. The group of 15 students attended classes at Ayb High School for one week, which were specially organized in Russian and English.
Cultural events were also there for the guests from Kazakhstan, including visits to Garni, Geghard, Mother See of Holy Etchmiadzin, and Parajanov house-museum.
The impressions of young guests were beyond words, and the day of separation was very emotional. At the farewell party, their last words were in Armenian: “We love you all. Thank you.”
Moments of pride
In November, Ayb’s physical education teachers – Karen Hovhannisyan (Ayb School) and Nver Gharibyan (Dilijan Central School) – won gold medals in the European Power Triathlon Championship conducted in Ukraine, once again glorifying Armenia on the international platform. More than 300 athletes from 18 countries took part in the Championship. The Armenian team won the 3rd place in the Championship with 13 gold and 1 silver medals.
Again in November, Ayb School graduate Marie-Alice Minasyan won a gold medal at iGEM, the prestigious annual Synthetic Biology contest, held in Boston, among 245 teams from 32 countries. 18-year-old Marie-Alice was a member of the Aix-Marseille University team from France and was the youngest in the 8-member team. Her team, which competed in the Graduate group, presented a new method of recycling platinum.
Meetings worth noting
On October 19, Ayb School hosted Richard Mills, U.S. Ambassador to Armenia, who made a tour of the school and was told about the achievements of the students. Then the Ambassador met with students who surprised the guest with their lively questions. Mr. Mills spoke of the goals of his work and about democracy, listened to students’ opinions on the topic, then answered their questions of both personal and professional nature. At the end of the meeting the Ambassador assured that it wasn’t his last visit to Ayb.
On November 17, Ayb School hosted Narine Abgaryan, renowned Armenian writer from Russia, who became famous for her autobiographical book “Manyunya” and other very popular pieces. The guest first told some episodes of her life, talking of her biography, and then answered the students’ questions. When asked what her inspiration or muse was, Narine lingered for a moment and answered: “My muse is the music… jazz… I write listening to jazz, but I have no idea who or what I am writing about. I just write.”
The guest ended the meeting with the following words: “Love what you do and do what you love to do. Never be afraid to show your work to others.”
Project-based Learning: idea pitch
On December 3, the project-based learning clubs presented their ideas and projects. Eight clubs presented in total 12 exciting and diverse projects.
This time, Rockestr club that has established “Battle of Evermore” band presented another very interesting project to be called “Call of the Ancestors.” Within the framework of the project, students plan to make new arrangements of Armenian folk songs, creating their rock versions.
The club will continue developing the aybmedia.am platform, adding their opinion pieces from human rights to sports.
The Technomove programming club presented a unique project called Aybee: it’s a messenger bot, which students and teachers can talk to. For example, a student can ask Aybee what the math homework is and get the correct answer.
Within the framework of the “Aybplast” project, the club members plan to create a number of eco friendly products to be used in our everyday life, such as bioplastic. The club also presented its “Scents of Armenia” project, within the framework of which, having studied old Armenian recipes, they will start producing natural soaps.
The Photography club presented the project called “We and Our Selfies.” They are going to study a number of books, speak with experts, and invite famous people to photograph their portraits.
Science with Experiments
The Science with Experiments club continues working on the idea of establishing a Science Museum to make demonstration of interesting experiments to broader public. According to the club members, their biggest challenge is to find premises.
Art Studio club
The Art Studio is a new project-based learning club, which presented two projects. The first project called “Sketch Book” plans to sketch and show the neglected yet very important Yerevan buildings. In the second project called “Depicting Rock” students will design CD covers for the albums of their favorite rock bands.
Fablab robotics club
The Fablab club presented three projects. The most impressive was AutoLife where students create human-like robots. The aim of the robots is to substitute humans, especially in fields that are dangerous for human life, such as military field. Artificial intellect will also be designed for the robots.
On October 9, the most favorite and cheerful event of Ayb community, the traditional annual Ayb Games, brought together the entire Ayb community, for the fourth year in succession, around various intellectual and sporting games, giving everyone unforgettable impressions and endless joy. This year there were two new games – volleyball and “100 to 1.” A special vivacity to the event was conveyed by the demonstrations of Ayb School’s project-based learning clubs: the Science with Experiments club demonstrated amusing experiments in physics and chemistry, while the Photography club arranged a photo studio and hosted guests, taking photo shoots of them eating something terribly sour or hot.
During Ayb Games 2016, the traditional food fair took place, which was accompanied by tasty harissa eating. The entire profit raised from food sales amounted to AMD 1,034,230 was donated for new musical instruments for Ayb School’s Battle of Evermore rock band.
On December 2, for the first time in Ayb School’s history, sports games were held between the students of 7th, 8th and 9th grades. Divided into 3 teams, Pekka, Pinklets, and Uniques, the students competed in seven amusing and active games. Pinklets took the medal. All the teams were awarded diplomas. Such games will be organized regularly.
On December 11, one of the most favorite events of Ayb, the traditional Christmas charity fair was held and again hosted dozens of art masters with thousands of their handmade pieces. This time, Ayb graduates were the ones to organize the whole event. The fair-exhibition was accompanied by performances and concerts of elementary and middle school students. As usual, the event helped to achieve a specific goal from the ‘wish list’ of Ayb School – the amount raised at the event through food fair and special fundraiser totaling AMD 1,937,380 was allocated for construction of the main entrance canopy of Ayb School’s A and B buildings.
On December 19, on the initiative of Ayb School and Microsoft Innovation Center Armenia, the Hour of Code event was conducted. The invariable general partner and provider of uninterrupted high-quality connection for the event was VivaCell-MTS. The event organized in Armenia for the third time by now aims to teach all interested students and guests, in just a few hours, a variety of programming languages, to develop logic and problem solving skills. Along with the event, master classes were held by leading IT experts at the Hayastan Hall of the school.
On December 24, there was another festive occasion at Ayb School. In the overcrowded Hayastan Hall, the annual New Year Concert was held, full of beautiful performances and surprises. Ayb School students had assumed the responsibility for organizing the concert all by their own. Both students and teachers performed during the concert: they played music, sang, danced, and acted in plays. The main performers of the day were the middle and high school students, Ayb’s choir, and the art club students who performed Hovhannes Tumanyan’s fairy tale “This is that.” The AybAr dance group also had a surprise: besides traditional dances, the students enrolled in the group, together with their teachers, performed the festive version of the Kham-Khama dance to the strains of Jingle Bells…