Stars and STEM Stories
Saudi Arabia's Earth Day Celebrations in Taif City
In Saudi Arabia, all supervisors, teachers, and students, in all Educational Directorates under the guidance of the Ministry of Education, take care to celebrate all international days that celebrate planet Earth, based largely on events shown in the GLOBE calendar. Earth Day is widely celebrated, every year.
There are many facets to Saudi Arabia's Earth Day, including announcing the graduating GLOBE students who have been involved in GLOBE through GLOBE protocols for three years. This special recognition of gradates encourages them to remain involved as GLOBE alumni, providing learning and networking opportunities for GLOBE students throughout the year.
This year, at Umm Al Moumineen Juwayriah Intermediate Girls School in Taif City, 100 GLOBE students along with their 23 teachers, and five supervisors celebrated this special Earth Day, which marked GLOBE's 20th Anniversary, with 5 days of activities from 19 through 23 April. Here is an account of the week's proceedings:
19 April 2015: GLOBE Taif (local coordinator, teachers, students, and alumni), started their electronic campaign, sharing news of their community through GLOBE Program Facebook and NASA's# No Place Like Home Facebook.
They also exchanged videos and photos prepared by Taif GLOBE students and alumni. Here are some links of their videos and photos:
Video prepared by Tasneem Al-Qurashi in Al-Ahsa Workshop.
Video prepared by Hanan Al-Harthi on the occasion of getting the first place in the Calendar Competition 2015.
Video prepared by Salma Mohammad, the cooperative member of Taif Alumni studying in Sudan.
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20 April 2015: April, GLOBE Taif (local coordinator, two supervisors, one head mistress of GLOBE schools, 2 teachers, 8 students and their mothers), had a scientific round trip to the Damascus Rose plantation in Al-Hada district. The main goal of the trip was to observe and learn about the life cycle of one of the most unusual and wonderful trees in Taif, the Damascus Rose, and to take a sample of the plantation soil. The sample was studied according to GLOBE Soil Protocols. Students also took photos and toured around the factory where perfume and its water are produced from the Damascus Rose. The tree is planted in March and harvested in April; hence Taif city always celebrates Damascus Rose production in April. Not only that, all Damascus Rose plantations compete for making various products of roses such as perfumes, soap, oil, and rose water. Throwing the waste of roses is a good economic practice by farmers as a happy meal for some animals.
Damascus Rose production process reveals the distillment of true experience and requires great patience. During these stages, there is a wonderful work by farmers and citizens all over the city seen in Damascus Rose Carnival every year in Taif.
21 April 2015: GLOBE Taif (local coordinator, supervisors, teachers, students, and alumni), studied the soil sample of Damascus Rose plantation and Rose water according to GLOBE Protocols and shared the data through GLOBE Data Entry App.
22 April 2015: GLOBE Taif (local coordinator, teacher and students) held their annual meeting and symposium which brought 120 members of GLOBE community together for discussions on topic of "The Importance of Satellites in Our Life", presentations of G:OBE students about their experiences and their scientific expeditions, and an exhibition of GLOBE Taif paintings (photos of clouds, and beautiful landscapes in Taif ) and explanations of GLOBE tools and studies for the participants.
At the end of the meeting, eight GLOBE students became certified graduated GLOBE students. The appreciation moments were guided through the message of ( the Director General of Education at Taif Dr. Mohammad Al- Shamrani and his deputy- Miss. Assa Al-Oa'afi- the Director of Student Activity, Miss Nora Al-Ma'atani,) and held by the GLOBE local coordinator, Mrs. Fatimah Al-Sharief, and GLOBE teacher, Mrs. Hammdah Al-Talhi )
The gathering was an all-day-long event and took place inside GLOBE School theater hall, with students meeting and exchanging knowledge about their planet, Earth. The organizers (GLOBE Taif coordinator, Fatimah Al-Sharif and GLOBE Taif teacher, Hammdah Al-Talhi, and GLOBE students) focused the conversation on ways of keeping Earth free from any environmental problems.
To sum up, the event was one of the most successful GLOBE events and Earth Day Celebrations according to Saudi's GLOBE Deputy Country Coordinator, Ms. Norah Al Nasser. Proudly, she states enthusiastically, "As Muslims, we believe in the value of our Mother, Earth, so we will keep on celebrating Earth Day every day." Under the direction, and with the support, of the Ministry of Education, the GLOBE Program in Saudi Arabia will continue to engage students and their communities in such useful activities and hopes to expand the accomplishments of GLOBE Program in Saudi schools.