As my current schedule has me teaching only first years on Fridays, and the field trip meant that I would otherwise have nothing to do all day, I was invited to tag along. A little surprised but grateful for the opportunity to connect with some students outside of the classroom, I said yes.
Everyone slept on the way to Daejeon. So much for interaction outside of the classroom.
Our destination was the National Science Museum (국립중앙과학관), but we weren't actually there to see any of its exhibits. Rather, in a separate large exhibition hall, some sort of nation-wide science fair had taken place, and there were hundreds of posters on display -- the prize-winning experiments performed by students and teachers from all over Korea. Apparently, my students were supposed to examine all of them, take photos and notes, and get inspiration for their own research projects, on which they have been working assiduously this entire year.
Seriously, the breadth and depth of science at this fair was overwhelming.
|This elaborate poster and display includes a dead hawk, a fossil of Archaeopteryx, model planes, and a Simpsons book. I guess it has something to do with... flight? It won a gold medal, anyhow.|
In fact, the student with whom I talked the most straight up told me that nobody liked English grammar class, but that my conversation class seemed to be more fun and that it was good that I wouldn't give any exams. I joked that maybe I would give an exam, and she replied, "Oh, then I won't like it." I quickly changed the proposal to making it a sing-your-favorite-American-pop-song exam, and she smiled again, noting that the boys probably would not like that kind of test.
I'm hoping that by the end of this semester, they will be even half as excited about English as they are about the science that takes up their entire lives.