PULCHRA school students last month proudly presented at the National Symposium of Geography Students in Romania. Below is the record of the experience from the teachers viewpoint and the student’s.
In March, two brave teams from the National Bilingual College “George Cosbuc” made history at the National Symposium of Geography Students, XXVII edition, organized by the Center for Environmental Research and Impact Studies, University from Bucharest, Faculty of Geography. Why? Because it was the first time that high school students participated, and also the first time that the event did not take place physically.
The students listened carefully to the contents of the papers presented by BA students, MA students, PhD students, thinking about the fact that they might be in the same situation in just a few years. Following this experience, they discovered a multitude of interesting things in the field of science: from the way to communicate successfully, to how different tools work, from international projects, to solutions for sustainable development.
At the same time, they learned presentation skills and especially more efficient teamwork. Both papers presented by our students, namely “The influence of the quality of the outdoor environment on the quality of the indoor environment in George Cosbuc National Bilingual College” and “The influence of the quality of the outdoor environment on the quality of the indoor environment in the houses in Bucharest” were appreciated. The presentations were captivating and the content of the papers was quite complex. Thus, they exceeded the expectations of all participants, receiving congratulations and constructive opinions encouraging continuous study.
Highly appreciated, the team of researchers who pursued the influence of the environment on our school environment won several awards: Gabriela Apostol Award, offered by the Center for Environmental Research and Impact Studies for the best research promoted by students in pre-university education and ESRI Awards, offered by ESRI Romania, in the form of advanced courses in GIS.
Despite the understandable nervousness, the students managed to complete the presentations successfully, proving that they are worthy of participating in such an important event, the first in the portfolio of each of the students. This incredible success is owed to both the future researchers who exhibited real scientific curiosity, and to the coordinating professors Gina Barac and Florina Păunescu, who supported them and were always there to answer their questions / curiosities. Special thanks are addressed to the university professor Cristian Iojă, who was a real supporter and facilitated the students’ participation in the symposium.
Therefore, the symposium was a unique, special event, in which the students received, in addition to the award, a lot of congratulations and encouragement to continue the research project, to be passionate and involved in the Pulchra project and everything linked to the field of research.
Have you ever thought about what a symposium is, what it entails and how it actually takes place? We haven’t, at least not until now. We don’t know if we could say that it exceeded our expectations or if it lived up to our expectations, because we didn’t have any. We did not know the purpose of such an event or manner in which it took place.
Being in the 10th grade, we are and consider ourselves a team of lucky students, who were given the opportunity to take part in such an event dedicated to students, an opportunity that we immediately accepted, realizing, more or less, during the preparation period, the importance of participating in such an event. I did not think our introduction to the world of science and research would be so meaningful. We watched each of the presentations given by “our colleagues” carefully, well-trained students who impressed us with their work and results of a higher level, motivating us to follow in their footsteps in the near future.
For us, the moment of the presentation of our work was exactly as we intended, maybe even better. During the presentation we felt more confident in ourselves than ever before, and especially in the quality of the complex work that we had a hard time doing, but that we presented with pride. The results of our research and the feedback we received after the brief moments when we were in the spotlight were all the proof we needed that this sometimes difficult research was worth the effort to complete.
If we were to mention one thing we have learned from this new and unique experience, we would say that in addition to any award, diploma, and material work, words are the most satisfying and persuasive way to keep people motivated and encourage them to work hard on a project they have started. The constant encouragement and congratulations of our coordinating teachers motivated us day by day to continue what we were doing, and not to give up, despite the sometimes less pleasant or difficult moments.
There were also problems, even small conflicts, which in the end contributed to the improvement of our project and accentuated our desire for success and fulfillment of the proposed goals. Teamwork was the basis of our work and the one without which we would not have achieved anything. I have learned that teamwork is not only to be achieved when working with people with the same principles and values, but that good results are obtained when the weak points are complemented by the strengths of the other members of the team, thus forming a whole.
Therefore, the first participation in such an event brought each of us a dose of confidence, helped us develop our personality and skills in this crucial high school period, made us realize more than ever that success is temporary, but experience and subsequent impressions stay with us for a long time, and last but not least, that when we are given an opportunity, we must make the most of it. The time that will be given to us in life to present our idea or opinion is limited, but that does not mean that our visions are.
I learned that science and its methods help you see things that you would have never thought about or that you might have thought about, but you could not prove. The success of obtaining the results gives us the key only through exercise, continuity and perseverance.