On the 1st of December, we visited the Tamphasana Girls Higher Secondary School, an all-girls school named after a Manipuri princess. It was established in the year 1935 and so it had a vintage charm to it. The girls were all wearing the traditional phanek as their uniform and were very jovial and friendly. The school seemed to provide a fun learning atmosphere for its students.
We met a class of eager and excited 11th graders who were curious to know what we had to share with them. We introduced the foldscope to them by explaining how it works and why it is an amazing and useful invention. We showed the inquisitive class some samples and slides that we had collected and made and they were very thrilled about what they saw. We demonstrated how to make the foldscope and this excited them further.
A lot of the students had some excellent questions to ask us regarding the foldscope and its use. A few of the enthusiastic girls came up to us personally and asked if they could make slides of their own. They immediately set out to find peculiar things to observe under the Foldscope. While interacting with the students they educated us about the local terms and names for a lot our own samples. Eventually, other classes, seeing the excitement, joined the discussion. We ourselves went exploring around the school and found and collected different herbs and lichens that aren’t found back home in Bangalore.
All in all, today’s interaction with the students at the Tamphasana Girls School was an enriching experience as we learned quite a lot about the diversity of Manipur as the girls taught us about the flora and fauna of the region. We can’t wait to interact with them again!