Ever Imagined a space where school students enthusiastically discuss geography? Well, this happens every year in the Institute of Geographical Studies (IGYS). IGYS is a platform that was set up to help make geography education more fun, relevant, and exciting for all especially for school students. Every year, students from all over the world come together present, learn and discuss the problems in different geographies. They also find possible solutions to the problems by conducting research based on their hypothesis. The first conference was held in 2014.
This year it was held on 20 – 22 July, at the campus of Vidhyanjali Learning Foundation, Bangalore. The theme of the 3-day event was “Understanding Geographies of our daily needs”. It focused on enabling students to understand how geography can help us lead a sustainable life. The event comprised of interactive workshops, games, presentation by students and multiple interactive sessions with experts.
Around 330+ students from grade 8th to 10th participated in this celebration of learning. Students from our partner schools also got an opportunity to present their findings at the conference. As compared to last year, this time the number of participants increased from 30 to 97 children. From topics like ‘The Taboo Geographies of Menstruation’ to “Gender discrimination due to the societal norm”, they presented issues that were socially relevant and were connected to the problems they see daily in their neighborhood. They were guided by their mentors for conducting their research on the respective topics.
Learning experiences for budding geographers →
The conference pushed students to think out of the box. It encouraged the young leaders to think like a geographer and see the problems around them through a different lens. This also helped out students to know more about the environment and encouraged them to think of it as a career option. It was a great exposure for these children to meet experts and mentors who offered in-depth knowledge of this fields.
Making new friends and interacting with new people boosted the confidence of students. They walked out of the conference believing in the power of their potential. It was heartening to see this transformation.
A new approach to geography classes–>
Along with the students, IGYS was a great experience for the teachers from our partner schools. The workshops and interactive sessions helped them get new ideas to teach geography in a more interesting manner. Overall, IGYS was a great opportunity for our students and teachers where they not only witnessed the beauty of the subject but also use it as a powerful tool to bring change.
Confident students, Educative workshops, and proud teachers – IGYS 2018 was a grand success! We look forward to becoming a part of this conference next year!