In December 2018 we collaborated with APECS Benelux and the dutch artist Udo Prinsen, in order to celebrate Antarctica Day in those three countries. In Luxembourg we went to 6 different classes in 4 different schools. In December the pupils explored the reason behind arctic day and night. In order to visualize the concept, we built camerae obscurae with soda cans and light sensitive paper. Initially, the pupils did not understand exactly where the “camera” was located - all of them being only familiar with digital cameras. It was about time we revealed the “secret” behind our “special” cameras.
In June and July 2019, we went back to those 6 classes in Frisange, Gonderange, Remich and Schengen. Our cameras had hung outside for 6 months now. From the winter solstice (21st december 2018) until the summer solstice (21st june 2019). It was time to look at the results. In order for the pupils to understand what we would be seeing on the developed pictures. We remembered the reason behind arctic day and night. In order to better understand the suntracks on the pictures, we looked at a short video depicting one lower sun track and a higher one. The first one showing how the sun is lower in winter, and the second how it is higher up in summer.
After understanding the polar night, we finally looked at the results from our camerae obscurae! At first the pupils looked a bit puzzled at the photos. Even after describing what they were seeing, they were not quite sure what they were seeing. After asking “Do you remember the two suns from the video?” an “Aaaaah … Yes!!!” came from some students. They had understood that they could see on the pictures taken just outside their school the sun’s track. In some pictures houses and trees could even be seen and the pupils shared stories about where they hung up their cameras.
After having talked about celestial bodies for such a long time, we dedicated the second lesson to earthly matters again. We talked about the Inuit - about some of their traditions, as well as their modern life. Using googlemaps, we looked at Iqaluit, one of the biggest cities in Inuit Land. We then read an Inuit legend, where the crow brings the sunlight to the Inuit, who had previously lived in darkness all winter. The pupils were encouraged to draw their favorite scenes, so we collected a whole set of creative and colorful pictures.
If you want to see the results from the other BeNeLux countries, please visit Udo Prinsen’s website. The pictures and photos from Luxembourg will be available below here.