The newly renovated physics and chemistry lab at the Azatamut school in Armenia’s Tavush region has especially encouraged one of its students, 15-year-old Edgar Ghalumyan, whose interest in physics began in early childhood.
Through our Breaking the Cycle of Poverty Program two schools in the Berd Region of Tavush Province (Azatamut and Ijevan #1) are the latest ones to have had their science labs renovated and refurbished.
For Edgar it means that he will have a legitimate place to study science. “I was 11 when, one day, I came back home from school and decided to try to create lightning,” he said about his first physics “experiment.” In his father’s garage, Edgar used an aluminum plate and a lighting stand to try and recreate lightening. While he of course gave himself an electric shock it didn’t deter his curiosity about physics.
Azatamut’s Principal Lilit Avetisyan stated that the science lab had not been renovated since the end of the Soviet era. “It had a sinister appearance; we couldn’t perform any experiments,” said Ms. Avetisyan. As a result, science teachers have only been able to teach theory from the textbooks—until now. “Now our teachers have an opportunity to use the lab’s potential while the children can learn through practical experiments and test hypotheses.” This will also help bolster the students’ enthusiastic and appreciation ofscience, she said.
Since the renovation Edgar works in the lab as much as he can. “I perform experiments in electrodynamics and kinematics. I read a lot about quantum physics, and I argue with my teacher on different subjects,” he said. He also noted that while many other kids had developed an interest in physics theythen let it fizzle away because of the lack of opportunities to really learn it.
“More than 20 schools in Tavush have been equipped with much-needed materials and facilities, which have modernized the school environment and significantly improve the process of teaching and learning in recent years,” said FAR ANSEF and Educational Programs Director Edik Karapetyan in relation to BCPP’s educational initiatives. “Day by day, schoolchildren from border communities are being provided with opportunities to learn, do physical activities, and engage in creative work, thus broadening their horizons.”