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Fazlani L’Academie Globale, India

21 – 26 March

Many schools that join us here at Traidhos come for a cultural experience, community service, adventurous activities, or a combination of all three. As Fazlani L’Academie Globale (FLAG) found out, this is not all we can offer.

The students from Mumbai ended their time in Chiang Mai with a series of scientific studies on the Traidhos Three-Generation Farm. In the morning we began by assessing the water quality of the ponds on the farm and identifying the different animals living there. Together the students formulated an hypothesis – as water pollution increases, the species richness will decrease – and came up with their own method for testing it. Throughout the morning we collected and identified invertebrates that were living in the ponds and used this data to analyse how clean the water on the farm was. Despite our data not supporting our hypothesis, the information we collected regarding water quality was very helpful for the farm staff in monitoring and managing the water quality on the farm.

Later that day the students from FLAG continued to investigate the natural processes on the farm. Using real life examples, we applied the theory of the nitrogen cycle to the process of making compost on the farm. Students gained hands on experience of making this valuable fertiliser and seeing exactly how the things they learn in school can be utilised.

We continued the journey of discovery by dissecting banana trees to see exactly how the xylem and phloem transport water and sugars within a plant. Banana trees, with their oversized vascular system, are a fantastic example of this.

Our time on the farm concluded by making delicious fresh smoothies with the student-powered bicycle blender. While preparing their refreshments the students discussed the physics of how energy is transferred from within their bodies to power the blender. After a full day of scientific investigations the students were very grateful for a tasty treat to end with.

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