Iarina and Teodora, students in Grade 9 and scholarship holders at Avenor College, wanted to raise awareness about the COVID-19 pandemic among their younger schoolmates. Organising attractive and interesting activities for children, the two scholarship students launched an awareness campaign very well received by colleagues and teachers, which helped them better understand working in a team and commiting to a long-term project.
Avenor College: Tell us about your project: what was your idea and how did you come up with it?
Iarina & Teodora: The purpose of our project this year is to inform primary school and 5th grade students about COVID-19 and the recommended precautions that need to be taken during a pandemic. We chose this project idea as we thought it would be an important subject in the current climate, especially considering how much it impacts us all.
We decided to mainly focus on younger children, as we knew that they can be easily taught new and important information with the help of fun games and activities. An art exposition and a Kahoot competition seemed the perfect way to do this.
A.C.: Where are you now with your project? What have you managed to do so far?
Iarina & Teodora: So far, we have introduced the idea of an art exposition with the theme “My life during the pandemic” to the pregatitoare students, asking all of them to draw anything they want related to the theme and send the drawing to us. Furthermore, we have visited all the primary school and 5th grade students during Form Time and invited them to take part in the first stage of a Kahoot competition. Kahoot is an interactive platform where players need to be both correct and fast, choosing the correct answer out of four different options and accumulating points. We created a Kahoot game for the 2nd and 3rd grade students, and a separate one for 4th and 5th grade students. The questions were based on COVID-19 fact that we believed everyone should be aware of, and precautions that should be taken. Every student participated, and the one who had the most points from each class qualified for the final.
A.C .: What are the next stages of the project?
Iarina & Teodora: The next thing that we are going to do is present the first graders the idea of the artwork exposition. For the smaller children, we decided not to organise a Kahoot because they are just starting to learn how to read and write, so we thought of something else, something that every child at this age loves to do – drawing. After we will have presented the exposition to the first graders as well, we will collect all the drawings from both years. Photos of their drawings will go into a Google Slides presentation which their parents, their teachers and themselves will be able to access anytime.
For the upper classes, the next step is organising a new Kahoot. Since it is the final round, the questions need to be harder than in the first ones. The final will be organised in a joint Zoom meeting, where classmates will be able to root for the competitor from their class.
A.C .: What did you find most difficult about this project?
Iarina & Teodora: Our project was very well received by children and teachers as well. However, it was a bit difficult to plan all the meetings because all the teachers had a lot of other activities with the students and we had to find a common time schedule good for everyone.
A.C .: What did you find surprising?
Iarina & Teodora: We were pleasantly surprised by the children’s joy and hospitality. As soon as they noticed they have “guests”, they paid attention to us and were curious about what we were going to tell them. We absolutely loved their enthusiasm when hearing they were going to play Kahoot, how focused they were on every question and how they congratulated the winner. They were very sweet and we realised we were right: children really do learn a lot of things through fun methods.
A.C .: What did you discover about yourselves working as a team during this project?
Iarina & Teodora: We learnt how to work better together and share our tasks better. Even though we are classmates and have worked together in the past, the work for this project needed much more organisation and planning beforehand. It helped us discover things that we like doing and what we do best.
A.C .: What are the main benefits of your project for the Avenor community?
Iarina & Teodora: First of all, we are happy that we managed to start such a beautiful project in the midst of a pandemic and online schooling. At the beginning of the school year, we didn’t know when and if we were going to have online classes, and then we didn’t know if we were going to come to school in person. As well as the other students, we managed to adapt and bring into the school an educational project for the primary school classes and the fifth graders from which they can learn important and interesting facts about the times we are going through.