Conference News: July 2

 

"Deaf people can do everything but hear"

The GLOBE Program involved in special schools

GLOBE reaches out to all different types of students around the world with its advanced technology. Presently, GLOBE can be found in schools for the deaf, blind, learning disabled, gifted and talented. In the GLOBE Conference, there are three deaf students from the United States. These students have taken advantage of the GLOBE Program. 

Ann Hardison, Communications Director for GLOBE, says that with GLOBE's technology and use of computers, students in special schools are able to become involved in the program. GLOBE has built a partnership with Gallaudet University, a Liberal Arts school for the deaf, which has been training teachers in GLOBE. This will allow for GLOBE to be implemented in more special schools around the world.

Program sparks new interests

Tyrone V. Williams and Durrell McCoy of the Mississippi School for the Deaf and Vinny Riccobono of Model Secondary School for the Deaf, Washingon, D.C. joined the GLOBE program in the fall of 1997, when their schools first adopted the program. They have come to Helsinki to present their research on "El Niño - Fact or Fallacy". The students have studied the predictions about El Niño and the weather conditions in the winter months.

Durrell McCoy says that he enjoys being outside collecting GLOBE data and making predictions. Tyrone V. Williams is interested in cloud coverage, maximum and minimum temperature, Landsatellite Imaging and the Global Positiong System. Here in Helsinki, the students have enjoyed doing their presentation in front of the GLOBE students, teachers and scientists. The students did their presentation in sign language with the use of an interpretator. The students have also participated in parts of the Finnish culture, including the sauna which they have enjoyed.

Deaf students make new friends by Internet

Geraldine Jones, teacher at the Mississippi School for the Deaf, says that many times deaf students are excluded from activities because of their disability. However, because of GLOBE's use of the Internet, these students are able to participate in making scientific discoveries. Ms. Jones shared her experience with the GLOBE program with the Finnish teachers of the deaf. The two schools are now hoping to participate in an exchange program and to become sister schools. Ms. Jones also hopes that with a little encouragement, the Finnish school for the Deaf will join the GLOBE program, as well.

Sometimes, Tyrone and Durrell have problems communicating with other people, however, they try to improvise when problems arise. The students would like leave with a quote from Dr. I. King Jordan, first deaf President of Gallaudet University; "Deaf people can do everything but hear!"

Conference authors: Satu Kangas and Kristin Marsh

Science and fun go hand in hand at Nuuksio

Saunas and mosquitoes give conference a Finnish twist

As dusk started to fall on Tuesday evening, people from 24 different countries gathered around the campfire at Nuuksio National Park. As Russians spoke with Americans, Finnish roasted sausages with Swedes, old cultural tensions were melting. With the help of the activites the Czech Republic organized, people from different corners of the world found something in common.

The only thing to threaten the happiness of the trip was the angry swarm of mosquitoes continually biting the campers. In a strange way this brought the people closer together as they shared their complaints and bug spray.

One of the most popular activites among the people was the sauna, a hot steamroom that the Finnish traditionally relax in before jumping into the lake. The cramped conditions of the small wooden sauna allowed for an easy going atmosphere which left most uninhibited. While sitting in the intense heat many people shared stories of their homelands and joked with one another.

After his first trip to the sauna Jason Terry of the USA exclaimed, "The sauna is quite excellent." Peggy Foletta, Jason's teacher had similar thoughts, "I am half Finnish and I had an opportunity to try what my ancestors have been doing for centuries, I felt one with the sauna."

Unforgettable experiences

There were also many interesting experiences while at Nuuksio. Tacoma Williams of Michigan was accidentally put into the wrong tent because the organizers thought she was a boy due to her name. Tacoma didn't mind though, "I was put into a boys tent, and it was fun except they kept waking me up!"

Some of the food was also not well liked by the campers. Stephaine Leshk of Michigan commented, "I don't care for the food very much but other than that Nuuksio is fun." Maged Adel of Egypt shared a similar view, "I didn't like yesterday's lunch, but dinner was ok."

The team of Jeff (USA), Anna-Leena (Finland), Rana (Egypt), and Pan (China) that was followed the previous day also seemed to be changed by the fresh air and friendliness of everyone. They have become good friends and hope to stay in touch after the conference is over. Jeff Judd said, "I would like to hear from my new friends after I go home." They enjoyed the GLOBE games of the second day and learned more about the humidity of the air.

The trip to Nuuksio proved to bring all the conference attendees closer together - some romances even developed. People taught each other about their cultures, languages and traditions while learning hands on about the environment. In the words of Rana Salah-ElDien of Egypt, "It was an experience that will never be forgotten."

Conference authors: Maria Leppälä, Matt Trautman, and Marna Palmer

300 kilos of tomatoes fed to hungry campers

Meals prepared with gas stoves and an army food station in Nuuksio

Chief Cook, Antti Castrén and staff from kitchen, Nuuksio, had the responsibility to feed all 300 people who were camping in National Park. So, we can imagine how much food it took. During two days in Nuuksio, campers used 300 kilos of tomatoes, 30 kilos of ground beef, 20 kilos of sausage and three pots of potatoes. The kitchen staff transported the food by van every day from the whole sale store in Helsinki. Sometimes they had to make two trips because campers were so eager to eat.

Finnish Summer Soup a real hit

To prepare the food there were three people in the kitchen. The cooks used kitchen ware from the Scout Company. They were using gas stoves and an army food station to prepare the meals. Many of the cooks had experience with hiking so they were used to fixing large amount of eatables. 

Hasab- Alah Omayma Abdel- Rahem from Egypt enjoyed most of the meals, but because she is Islamic she was unable to eat pork products, a favorite dish in Finland. The German group really liked the Finnish Summer Soup, some people even took a recipe. An Argentinian woman said that all food was wonderful, especially the barbecue, where everyone could make their own dinner.

onference authors: Satu Kangas and Kristin Marsh