Contests and Victories
In January, 11th grade student Tatevik Arevikyan won the annual English speech contest organized by LCC International University, the Armenian round of which was held at Ayb High School. Tatevik will travel to Lithuania in spring, to take part in the international round of the contest.
In March, the school round of the English language creative writing contest organized with the support of U.S. Peace Corps in Armenia was held at Ayb School. Overall 24 students of grades 8 to 12 took part in it. First and second place winner essays from each grade that passed the school stage, 11 essays in total, competed in the Armenian round of the creative writing contest, in the result of which four essays passed to the international round of the contest. The international round of the contest will be held in Tbilisi, in the first half of April.
In March, 21 students of Ayb School passed the regional round of the subject Olympiads and will soon take part in the republican round. This number is a wonderful achievement and Ayb community is extremely proud of it. We wish success to our students.
On March 27, within the framework of the “Leopard Tracks” contest, developed jointly with the Armenian branch of World Wildlife Fund (WWF Armenia), Ayb School students, authors of the best essays and pictures dedicated to that topic, visited Meghri for a three-day environmental tour. During the tour they saw the leopard’s main areal and Bezoar goats, and took part in various environmental contests. By this contest, Ayb School launched promising cooperation with WWF-Armenia.
Bioplastics made of natural raw material, starch. This wonderful project was presented by Ayb School’s Green Chemistry club in February at the “Start in Innovation” (“Старт в инновации”) scientific conference in Moscow, and the club was recognized as the winner in Live Systems category.
It should be mentioned that the conference was organized by Phiztech Lyceum and Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology, in cooperation with ABBYY and a number of other companies.
From March 31 to April 1, the longest awaited all-Ayb event, the third Ayb Teacher Conference, was held in Aghveran for exchange of practice between teachers and for their professional development. This year, the conference was distinguished by the fact that for the first time it was attended not only by teachers from Yerevan Ayb School and Dilijan Central School, but also by teachers from schools that have applied for teaching Araratian Baccalaureate. During the conference, speakers made presentations on over 20 topics – democratic models of school self-management, classroom development complex project, self-assessment as an effective learning tool, student-based and differentiated learning, etc.
The special guest at this year’s conference was Dr. Jacek Brant, Senior Specialist of the University College London (UCL) Institute of Education (IoE), who spoke about a topic of interest for the participants: “What is Education for?” “My request is to help students become humans. Reading, writing, and counting are important only if they shape our children as humans. Schools must “produce” people able to work and be of benefit to the economy,” said Dr. Brant during his speech.
At the conference, speeches were also delivered by Fr. Mesrop Aramian, NPEE Director, Chairman of the Board of Trustees of Ayb School; Davit Pakhchanyan, RA Deputy Defense Minister, Chairman of the Board of Trustees of Ayb Educational Foundation; David Sahakyan, Deputy Minister of Education and Science of the RA; Aram Mehrabyan, Head of Dilijan Central School; Aram Pakhchanyan, Head of Ayb School, and teachers of Ayb School.
Overall, the three-day conference was attended by more than 100 teachers.
On January 27, a meeting was held at Ayb School that filled the attending Ayb people with patriotic spirit.
The speakers at the event were Fr. Mesrop Aramyan, Chairman of Ayb School’s Board of Trustees, Aramayis Baghdasaryan, Ayb School’s military instructor and reserve colonel, and Gagik Ginosyan, participant of Artsakh war and Ayb School’s dance teacher.
During the meeting, the speakers talked about establishment of the Armenian army, facing the current challenges, and the role of the society in development of the army, thus emphasizing the importance and significance of the army for us.
The meeting was also attended by special guests who had taken part in Artsakh war – Armenian politician Azat Arshakyan, musician Artur Aleksanyan, and theater critic Aram Avetisyan.
Feast of the Lord’s Presentation to the Temple (Tiarnendaraj)
On February 14, Ayb family celebrated with great enthusiasm one of the Church feasts most popular with the youth, the Feast of the Lord’s Presentation to the Temple (Tiarnendaraj, Trndez). It began with a religious service and continued with a common prayer. Then a big fire was lit with a blessed fire and the first brave person jumped over the fire starting the joyous ceremony. The feast became even warmer due to the meal of the day – the hot, delicious potatoes baked in the fire.
Book Giving Day
The book giving day celebrated on the birthday of great Armenian poet Hovhannes Tumanyan was lavish with books at Ayb. Special luster was communicated to the event by the fact that during it Ayb students read their own poems. Two quests were conducted at the event, which raised the mood of the audience and sparked heated debate.
The day was concluded by senior teacher of Armenian language and literature Anahit Hovhannisyan, who told why the book giving day was celebrated on H. Tumanyan’s birthday. The matter is that the great Armenian poet was a big book lover and presented many books to his relatives and friends. That is why this wonderful holiday is celebrated on February 19.
Great Barekendan began with a ritual burning – Ayb Elementary School students first burned a doll in the yard, which is a symbol of bidding farewell to the “non-fasting grandma” and welcoming the “fasting grandpa.”
The “non-fasting grandma” who invites everyone to eat and drink during Barekendan days became a dishevelled, tattered doll. Then the students of the older generation spoke about the meaning of the feast. The event was accompanied by interesting games, by questions and answers. Along with intellectual games, the participants made masks – one of the symbols of Great Barekendan.
On March 18, the first spring cleaning day was organized at Ayb School. It is noteworthy that the students had a great contribution to the process of organizing the cleaning event. In the result of this socially beneficial work, the school grounds, the road leading to the school, and the classrooms were cleaned, the windows were polished, papers were sorted, etc.
Science Hour at the Loft
On March 25, the visitors of the Loft, one of the most popular places of the youth in Yerevan, were delighted and amazed. It was the Science Hour – demonstration of the scientific miracles by the Gitalab club students of Ayb School. For four hours the audience could witness the “burning” of a hand, see a gold rain falling, a cabbage shattering, water changing its color in seconds, the DNA being extracted from strawberries, and other miracles.
The event hosted more than 100 visitors, including students, teachers, and elderly people, who intently watched the experiments, asked questions to the students, and participated in practical experiences. It was a great success both for the members of Gitalab, who spent a long time preparing to go out of school to make a large demonstration, and for development of program-based learning which is an important basis for the curriculum of Ayb School.
On February 3, this year’s first meeting within the framework of the Moments of Sincerity project was held at Ayb School. The guest of the project was our Aram Pakhchanyan, co-founder of Ayb, Head of Ayb School, vice president of ABBYY company. Is there absolute truth; were there situations when you were forced to give up or voluntarily abandoned something to move forward and start something new; would you like to be an Ayb student and what difficulties would you face during the years of study – these were the questions asked by the students to assess how sincere their school head was. Mr. Pakhchanyan, the students, and the audience were highly delighted by the meeting, at the end of which the “interviewers” assessed the “interviewee’s” answers as completely sincere.
Career Counseling Meetings and Visits
In March, Ayb School students and alumni had an interesting and very important meeting with Artak Hovhannisyan, Ayb Club member, member of the Board of Trustees of Ayb School, Deputy General Director at EPAM Systems responsible for business development, and their talk focused on modern professions and services. When talking about tomorrow’s professions, Mr. Hovhannisyan also mentioned the personal qualities and skills that should be worked out to keep up with the technological development in the world, specifically noting that “in pursuit of progress one shouldn’t forget about the close relatives, about loving and respecting them.”
During this quarter, the children not only had career guidance meetings, but also made visits to a number of organizations for this purpose, namely to ANEL (National Engineering Laboratories of Armenia) and Astghik Medical Center. They had meetings with infographer and designer Sedrak Mkrtchyan and members of Nemra rock band.