planetary messages & a journey of discovery
At the Early Learning Centre, children are encouraged to discover, investigate and interpret the world in all its complexity, as well as to invent make-believe worlds, giving shape and life to them through narrations and interpretations of the reality that surrounds them. We believe that children have the capacity to form new points of view, and that our role as educators is to travel with them and support them on their journey of discovery, listening to their thoughts, questions and dialogues on the world – their Planetary Messages. Sometimes, this calls for a field trip.
Before taking off, the children worked with a team of experts from the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering so that they understood what was required to ensure that their messages reached the stratosphere.
In the course of the trip, they met and interviewed Masanobu Tsuji, Director of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) in Bangkok, who is an expert in space engineering, satellites and ground stations. Working alongside the team of experts, the children were able to successfully launch two atmospheric balloons, each outfitted with a camera to capture images and videos of the earth from above. A tracking system enabled us to collect data on altitude, speed and temperature as our balloon travelled through the upper atmosphere, information that assisted the children in predicting the flight path and landing sites of the balloons, and gave them the ability to share the experience with the centre community.
We do not ask our children to come up with solutions to planetary problems and assume the responsibilities of the grownups who created them, but simply wish to listen to them, because we believe that their planetary messages can give us a glimpse of the light-footed poetry and humanity inside them – something we all need, and which may well become solutions in the future.