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  Happy growth in practice  

  

 

    BEIJING, Jan. 26 -- In a field, people are busy doing farm work. Some are weeding grass, some in tractors are raking and ploughing, and some in seed planting machines are sowing.

    What an inspiring scene! However, you may not imagine that they are just junior school students taking part in courses at a practice base in Qingdao.

    Background

    Located in the city of Qingdao, East China's Shandong Province, the practice base aims to contribute to the all-round development of students in elementary and middle schools. It covers a total area of 308 mu (20.5 hectares) with an investment of 23 million yuan and an overall construction area of 9,000 square meters. It can accommodate 600 students at the same time.

    Over the past nine years, the base has received 100,000 students. With the focus on agricultural work, it combines environmental education, science popularization and survival training, offering a wide space for practical activities.

    The base has set a good example for children's healthy development and growth. It has been honored with many titles, such as a State-level camp venue for youths' outdoor activities and a provincial base for popularization of science in Shandong.

    Interest

    Through practice, the students have deepened their understanding of social and cultural phenomena as well as natural science, which they cannot learn well in closed classes.

    They are required to do various farm tasks, such as grinding corn, picking pinecones and trimming branches. They have learned to make delicious dumplings and fresh bean curd with their patience and seriousness.

    Most of the students have never heard of such farm work, much less performed it. But they have tasted the fruit produced by themselves, feeling overjoyed through different practices. They gradually realize the truth that labour creates wealth and a wonderful life, while at the same time developing their own physical and mental skills.

    Meanwhile, the base has provided some handwork courses, such as paper cutting, knitting, embroidering, molding, and weaving, especially during rainy days.

    Zhao Jishun, a student who is skilled at painting, has furthered his sense of art through practice at this base, and made great progress. As a result, he won the gold prize in a Sino-Japanese painting competition.

    Moreover, they have received a series of self-protection training, such as fire evacuation, emergency rescue, crime prevention, and traffic security.

    The practice at this base has paid off. According to a survey by the local working committee for children and women, 96 per cent of the students show a greater interest in activities and broader vision after the training.

    Not only talented students give better performances, but those who are introverted can make wonderful handicrafts, and actively take part in class affairs.

    The base has made good use of natural advantages, successfully attracting the students' attention.

    In addition, the students are inspired to learn more about advanced technologies. For example, they observe how wastewater turns clear in a treatment plant, enjoy the warmth in a solar-cell-powered bathroom and learn the agricultural technology behind an intelligent greenhouse.

    Creativity

    Taking advantage of its geographic position, the practice base has established 10 gardens, including a wild plants garden, two traditional agricultural gardens, three exhibition gardens, and four special agricultural gardens.

    The display of nature, which the students regarded as a book with no ending, has greatly aroused their awareness of innovation and initiative spirit.

    The base has attached great importance to developing their consciousness of citizenship, discovering their potential for creation, and making up the demerits of normal school class.

    Individual habitats have been built for different animals, such as henhouses, pounds and birds' nests, as part of a biological resource project.

    Through feeding and caring, the students are expected to strengthen the concept of sustainable development. Meanwhile, they come to form a proper way of thinking, observing, and imagining through direct, vivid and creative education.

    In addition, they are encouraged to climb the hills around the base to improve an all-round quality such as the perseverance necessary to overcome difficulties during the process.

    Meanwhile, they are told to name the hills with their imagination and observation. They have created various interesting names, such as "happy spring" and "semi-primitive forest." At the same time, they are able to greatly strengthen self-confidence and courage.

    Moreover, all children consciously pick up the rubbish on their way, thus learning how to get along well with nature.

    "I feel surprised that they have done so well in composition classes," one elementary school teacher said. "They describe the campfire as a sculpture, a torch, a fairy, and even a huge tree. They use vivid words they have never done before. They learn how to observe, think, and make writing easier."

    The students have written their feelings in their notebooks. "At this practice base, we learn how to be independent, to pursue our goals, and to discover the nature. This is really a paradise for our wonderful childhood."

 

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