Heads in the Clouds

It’s been a month of stellar achievements this July. Fifty years of the moon landing, ISRO’s successful launch of Chandrayan 2 are both milestones in the history of humanity.

Our students have been studying the Solar System in their science class and as such primed for an exploration of these events. Being the opportunistic teachers that we are, we brought in books, articles and videos about Armstrong and the Apollo missions, Kalpana Chawla, ISRO, Chandrayan. The discussions triggered by these have been mind bending.

One kid, it turns out, actually thinks we are living inside the earth. We can’t convince her that we are ON the earth, part of Space like all other planets and stars. Her argument being “If that were the case, I should be able to see Mercury and Jupiter and Saturn in the sky”. Er, you can. You might need a telescope to see more clearly, but, you can. So now we have to plan a night session to show her.

Another poses “Is Earth the only place with people?” – within a couple of weeks of being introduced to Space. Yes, probably been exposed to the concept of aliens before. But to go on and posit “We can’t really be sure can we?” – that shows a depth of thought we had not anticipated.

A third points at a picture of Buzz Aldrin on the moon and says “That’s me in ten years. I am going to be the first Indian on the moon.” 100% confidence, 0% doubt.

Little wonder that I have been walking on air the past few days. 🙂