During each quarter, Ayb School stands out with its buoyancy, new victories and achievements, high level of hospitality, diversity of projects and events, searching mind and implementation of new initiatives. And this quarter was no exception.
This quarter also stood up with the most touching milestones of the year – the students’ Last Bell and the graduation event.
Distance learning with three schools in Armenian regions
On April 6, Ayb School distance learning project was launched. The project, which is currently in pilot stage, aims to make quality education available for middle school children, especially in regions of Armenia. This project will also support children to be admitted to AB schools. Distance learning involves a structured platform with online video lessons and home assignments.
The official start of the project is planned for September 2017. The purpose of distance learning is to make quality education available for middle school children, especially in regions of Armenia. Within the framework of cooperation this year, experimental classes will be held with the school of Berkaber village, Tsaghkunk Open School Fund, and the school of Chambarak village.
The current experimental version of the program involves only geometry and algebra classes for the 7th grade. The project will officially kickstart in September and will be enriched with three subjects in natural sciences.
Visit to Berkaber borderline village
Within the framework of the Aybapatum project, Ayb High School students visited Berkaber borderline village on April 22-23 to exchange practical and theoretical knowledge and practice with peers.
During their visit (the third one), Ayb High School students and teachers made a presentation of lab experiments in physics, chemistry, and biology, held discussions over Armenian language and history, and organized dance classes and sports games.
Victories and Achievements
Bronze medal in National Robotics Challenge, USA
For the second year in a row, Ayb School’s robotics team showed its worth and stood out at one of the most popular robotics competitions in the world, the National Robotics Challenge (NRC), by winning a bronze medal in the Combat Robot nomination.
The competition was held in Marion, Ohio, USA. Over 1,300 participants and 400 robots took part and competed in the NRC 2017.
It should be noted that last year, Ayb School’s robotics team took part in the challenge with their Sumo Robot that earned them a silver medal as well as the Honda Innovation Award.
Great results in the national stage of Subject Olympiads
Thanks to their consistent efforts, Ayb students registered excellent results in the national stage of Subject Olympiads by earning two 1st, four 2nd and five 3rd class diplomas and five certificates.
Second prize at international creative writing contest, Georgia
Ayb School’s 10th grade student Hayk Kassarjian’s essay won the 2nd prize in the Write On creative writing contest’s international stage. The contest is organized by the U.S. Peace Corps.
The international stage was held in Tbilisi with 22 participating countries.
Best results at the national stage of the annual English Poetry Recitation Contest
Ayb students showed best results in the national stage of Poetry Recitation Contest held on May 7. Emilia Simonyan won the 1st place and Daniella Donatelle the 2nd place.
The annual contest is organized by the volunteers of the U.S. Peace Corps in Armenia.
Gold medals at European Powerlifting Championship, Ukraine
Physical education teachers Karen Hovhannisyan from Ayb School and Nver Gharibyan from Dilijan Central School and Ayb School 12th grade student Hakob Hakobyan won gold medals at European Powerlifting Championship held in Ukraine, thus making Armenia shine on the international arena once again.
Hakob Hakobyan won the first place in the bench press exercise, lifting 100 kg. Karen Hovhannisyan won two gold medals in powerlifting and deadlift (33-39 age category). Nver Gharibyan also won two gold medals for the same exercises.
Armenia took part in European Powerlifting Championship with 18 athletes.
Ayb at the Nation-Army 2017 Conference
From April 20 to 23, Ayb School participated in the exhibition organized as part of the first ever Nation-Army Conference. Ayb School’s participation spanned four areas – national dances (military dances), gymnastics, robotics, and Initial Military Training (theoretical and practical, in the form of camping).
The exhibition was organized by the RA Defense Ministry. It was dedicated to military education and aimed to raise national awareness on high-quality education and proper upbringing, especially in the field of defense.
Ayb at Education and Career Expo 2017
From April 26 to 28, Ayb School took part in Education and Career Expo 2017. For two days in a row, practical classes in various subjects, including chemistry, physics, biology, ITC, Armenian, Russian, English, and drawing, were held in Ayb School’s interactive pavilion.
More than 50 educational institutions, among them – universities, schools, and language centers, participated in this educational event.
Visitors especially enjoyed the banana piano show made by Makey-Makey program by the ITC group of Ayb Elementary School. And we were more than delighted to see that many people line up for the drawing class as models for our young painters who then gifted them their sketches.
School Project Expo at Ayb
On June 30, Ayb School hosted the School Project Expo, in which over ten teams from Ayb School and regional schools presented projects, researches, and their outcomes.
Ayb Media Project (Club: Medialab)
Within the Medialab Club, a team has been established to conduct researches and publish articles on aybmedia.am website. The choice of the topic was up to each team member: the latter chose topics such as sports, art, law, medicine, and afterwards conducted researches to find out the extent to which these topics are being covered in Armenian media. The students’ articles have shed light on the issues in these fields and offered ways to help solve them. The primary aim of the Medialab Club is to provide readers with accurate and reliable information environment.
Rockapatkerum and Sketchbook (Club: Art Studio)
Rockapatkerum is a project, which intertwines rock music and art. The members of the Art Studio designed new CD covers for their favorite rock bands. Within the framework of the project, they had meetings with bands like Lav Eli, Nemra, Dogma, The Windrose, Vostan Hayots, Vordan Karmir, Araspel, etc., and showed them their sketches. The members of the Art Studio studied the records and biographies of the groups and expressed their conclusions in the sketches.
Sketchbook is another project by the Art Studio that combines writing and drawing. Students worked in two groups, writers and painters, and each had a clear task. Painters drew the sketches of buildings and streets of Yerevan, and writers composed poems or stories on them. The main goal of the project was to present the environment in the city to locals and tourists as well as make an attempt to preserve the buildings with high significance.
:Portrahere (Club: F8)
The F8 Photo Club always surprises us with interesting and outstanding projects, and the :portrahere exhibition was no exception. This time, students aimed to find out what a portrait is and why people take photos of themselves. The results were then published in a book-monolog.
As second part of the project, students took photos of Armenian celebrities – rapper Misho, actor Samvel Tadevosyan, model Anna Grigoryan, and singer Aram MP3. The photos were presented at the :portrahere interactive portrait exhibition.
The Call of Ancestors and Educational Concert-Seminars (Club: Rockestr)
Rockestr Club’s The Call of Ancestors project aims to create contemporary versions for ancient Armenian folk songs and spread them among the youth. To this end, the club members worked with ethnographers and folk artists to learn about the skills and rules required for arranging folk songs. Rockestr Club members have already created a new version for the song “Aghchi, meryd merela” (“Lassie, your Mother is Dead”) and while arranging it, they deeply studied the peculiarities of folk songs.
Rockestr Club’s Educational Concert-Seminars aims to spread high quality music among the youth. The Club has founded the Battle of Evermore rock band, learned to perform various songs and has studied the special elements of each song. The Battle of Evermore has already had a number of public concert-seminars in Ayb School, Lover’s Park, and LOFT Gyumri.
AybPlast and Scents of Armenia (Club: Green Chemistry)
Green Chemistry Club aims to substitute materials that harm the environment with environmentally clean ones. Students have conducted researches and collaborated with local plastics manufacturers to start manufacturing bioplastic. This team’s project was named a winner at the Start in Innovation international conference in Moscow.
During the School Project Expo, AybPlast presented bioplastic samples, and Scents of Armenia presented soaps and perfume that are useful, pose no risk to the human organism, and are antibacterial.
Aybee, Assistant for Students (Club: Technosharzh)
Technosharzh Club has independently developed the Aybee online assistant (messenger bot), which aims to increase the effectiveness of communication between students and teachers. Students can talk to Aybee, ask what homework they have for, say, mathematics and get the right answer. According to Technosharzh Club members, Aybee will help better understand the lesson.
Ayb Clock (Club: Fab Lab)
During the Expo, the Fab Lab Club introduced the Ayb Clock project. The Ayb Clock is a special robot designed for the school. It uses various colors to show when the class started, for how many minutes the student was late, when the class is over, etc. Besides, the clock indicates the air temperature.
As a reminder, Ayb School incorporated project-based learning in 2015 and it relies on the “learning by doing” concept. Within the framework of this learning process, students set up teams and carry out projects aimed at addressing a number of community-related issues.
Meeting with cosmonauts, USSR Hero Alexander Ivanchenkov and Hero of the Russian Federation Sergey Zaletin
On April 29, Ayb School hosted its first guests from space – cosmonauts, USSR Hero Alexander Ivanchenkov and Hero of the Russian Federation Sergey Zaletin. Our guests that had spent months in open space shared their cosmic experience with our students and told them about what they need to have to master this interesting and dangerous profession. Afterwards, they spoke about the oldest and youngest people who had ever been in space. At the end of the meeting, Mr. Zaletin surprised students by his physical fitness when he held his body onto his hand fingers.
Meeting with Suren Harutyunyan
On May 3, Ayb School 10th-grade students had the chance to enjoy an interesting training on communication skills delivered by Suren Harutyunyan, member of the Ayb Club, partner at McKinsey & Company office in Russia.
During the training that was delivered within the framework of Thinking Skills subject, Mr. Harutyunyan spoke about how to build the right oral and written speech, how to more accurately and appropriately express thoughts, etc.
Meeting with Artur Janibekyan
On May 11, Ayb School hosted a master class by one of the most anticipated guests for students – Artur Janibekyan – member of the Ayb Club, Head of the Gazprom Media Holding JSC (sub-holding of entertainment channels), Founder of Comedy Club Production and co-founder of the New Armenians KVN (Club of the Funny and Inventive) team.
During the meeting, Mr. Janibekyan spoke about the creation of television, how it looks from the inside, how it affects the society, and how it “carries on” in the age of the Internet.
It should be noted that the meetings with Suren Harutyunyan and Artur Janibekyan were delivered within the Ayb Mentorship Program for Ayb Club members and school students and alumni to get to know each other better.
Meeting with Garik Martirosyan
On June 14, Ayb School hosted another highly anticipated guest for students – Garik Martirosyan, Moscow-based Armenian comedian and showman, co-producer and host of the Comedy Club Russia, member (captain from 1997) of the New Armenians team of the Russian TV show KVN, who is also an Ayb donor.
Garik Martirosyan who is an education advocate and education donor spoke about the role of education and the aspiration to discover new things by citing examples from his personal experience and career path.
“Education plays a critical role in a person’s life and has a 100% influence on career and success. When talking about education, the first that comes to mind is the building, while the school is the teachers and the knowledge they impart,” said Garik Martirosyan.
The meeting was concluded with Karno Kochari, Armenian folk dance, which Garik also joined.
Concerts and Events
Battle of Evermore rock band in Gyumri
On April 30, Ayb School’s rock band, the Battle of Evermore, had its first concert in Gyumri, the capital of art. During the concert that lasted an hour and a half, the band performed such famous songs as “I’ll be Back” by The Beatles, “Dust in the Wind” by Kansas, “Love of My Life” by Queen, “At the Harbour” by Renaissance, “My Son” by Armen Movsisyan, etc.
Before performing each song, the band members would explain the song/music structure, the history behind it, and what made it stand out. As a result, those present got to know how to differentiate songs/music, learned about what “riff” is (a short and usually repeated pattern of notes in a song), etc.
The concert was organized by Ayb School along with LOFT Gyumri.
Art Week in Ayb
From May 19 to 25, Ayb School hosted the most joyful, colorful and “artful” event of the year, the Art Week, which was the brilliant result of the hard work Ayb students’ art groups did throughout the year.
Besides the exhibition of students’ paintings and graphic design works, the Art Week focused on various art workshops (ceramics, watercolor, t-shirt coloring, linography, dance classes, etc.) in which students participated with high enthusiasm.
In addition, the final concert of arts was held in Ayb (theater, national dance, rock band, etc.).
Especially memorable and touching was Ayb theater group’s performance of the “Jonathan Livingston Seagull” play, which impressed and spurred excitement among the audience. It was a story, a unique fusion of mime, music, and speech. Ayb’s theater group interpreted Richard Bach’s simple and at the same time deep philosophy in a totally new way. The ceaseless applauses that followed the play showed that it was an absolute success.
During the Art Week, the Ayb School Choir’s performance returned the audience to childhood. The Battle of Evermore rock band delivered a workshop-concert and also performed the song “Lassie, Your Mother is Dead” by Komitas in their own interpretation. The dance group performed the dance “Fisherman from Van,” which seemed to have taken the audience for fishing. For the first time, this year the audience enjoyed the performance of Ayb School Boys’ Choir.
AybFest: bringing together Ayb School students and alumni
On May 13, AybFest, one of the friendliest initiatives of the members of the Ayb Alumni Club, brought together alumni from the past four years of Ayb School and current students studying in the 8th through 12th grades.
During the AybFest, students presented the reason behind establishing the Ayb Alumni Club, the Club’s areas of work, goals and upcoming projects. They showed short videos telling about why they got involved in the Alumni Club and what they highlight within the framework of their initiative.
Along with that, participants enjoyed the wonderful concert of their friends and played various games. In the evening, everyone gathered in the school backyard to continue their warm evening around the fire, share thoughts, play guitar, sing favorite songs, and enjoy potato barbecue.
This beautiful event was held within the framework of the development program of the horizontal mentorship system, which aims to strengthen ties between all Ayb generations. It was mostly covered by the funds raised during the fundraising organized in the cafeteria during the day.
Last Bell at Ayb
On May 26, Armenian schools rang their Last Bell. And so did Ayb School, but 2017 was also an anniversary year for Ayb since we said goodbye to the 5th generation of graduates that stepped into the big life. On that very day, 36 students had prepared a surprise event for their teachers, school staff, and parents.
The Last Bell event was full of humor, performances, videos, and Armenian folk dances. Our 12th-graders cast a flashback to their life in Ayb and recalled the interesting and memorable moments, and instances of excitement and discontent.
At the end of the event, teacher of Armenian language and literature Armenuhi Yekmalyan made a surprise for the alumni. She gave her students envelopes that contained their last essays titled “How I See My Future.” The teacher said that 10 years down the road – in 2027 – she wishes to have her students come together on May 26 and read them.
The Last Bell event was over but all graduates stayed in the school and spent the whole night playing, dancing, and welcoming the first dawn of their adult life.
Graduation Ceremony at Ayb
Excitement and smiles wrapped with pride and inspiration — this is the mood that ruled at Ayb School on June 24, the day the fifth generation of Ayb School alumni (36 in total) were awarded their diplomas and Ayb Mentorship Program certificates.
Each year, the Graduation Ceremony begins with Ayb School Choir’s song “The Lord’s Prayer” under the conduction of Anahit Papayan. This is then followed by the commencement speech of Aram Pakhchanyan, the Head of Ayb School. “Together we lived an entire life and made a shift from your childhood to adulthood, and over that time we overcame a number of obstacles as well as moments of distress and sadness, made strides and achieved new victories — we did all that by exploring and implementing, giving and taking, loving and hoping. You are making a step into a world that is variable and full of surprises. But you have the knowledge, abilities and human values that are required for making a firm step towards that world. And so, the time has come. Fly high and confidently, and chase your dreams. This is your day!” said Aram Pakhchanyan.
2016 Graduate of the Year honorees Anahit-Anna Mkrtchyan and Gevorg Khandamiryan passed on their title to 2017 Graduate of the Year honorees Simon Zohrabyan and Mariam Hergnyan.
“Just like everyone, we embarked on the path of our literacy by the letter “ayb,” the first letter of the alphabet, without any idea that one day that same letter would play such a vital role in our lives. It gained a new meaning for us when we became Ayb students. Our school enabled us to discover our potential in areas of which we had no idea at all,” said Mariam Hergnyan.
Afterwards, Chairman of the Ayb Club Board Artashes Shirikyan presented the Ayb Mentorship Program and its goals and meaning.
The event ended with the traditional round dance of the Ayb Club members and graduates who joined hands for Papuri, national folk dance. This memorable ceremony was followed by the meeting of the graduates and their mentors. The graduates received their symbolic traditional pendants and met and spoke with their mentors, who will be their elder counselors.