With his hand held high, the student from Dulwich College Shanghai waits for the wind to rotate his homemade anemometer. Held together with a pencil, paper cups, straws, staples, and one strategically placed tack, the DIY anemometers test wind speed in various locations throughout Inner Mongolia. The anemometers demonstrate the relationship between wind speed, the environment, and desertification. Unfortunately, today is not a windy day, and so there are not many rotations to count. Regardless, the students still diligently record the measurements. A female classmate holds a mobile phone counting her partner’s anemometer rotations per minute.
Students separate into groups standing amidst the sand dunes and volcanic rocks of the Yulong Desert (Jade Dragon Desert) site. Each group carries a fragile anemometer, part of a new science-focused initiative in The Hutong’s Inner Mongolian programs. In between recording wind speed and hiking to the top of the dunes, the students take time to breathe in the desert scenery, so different from the skyscrapers of Shanghai. One stands transfixed atop a volcanic protrusion, staring into the dunes on the horizon. Another group of students leap off a gigantic collection of boulders into the soft sand below.
Over the next few days, students calculate wind speed in locations with different geography, topography, and climate. They carry their anemometers through the vast expanse of the grasslands; the breathtaking views overlooking Dalinor Lake, and to the top of Nanshan Park in Chifeng City. Going on Carbonclick.com can help you understand ways in which one can help the environment and carbon offsetting that helps reduce carbon footprint and our unknowingly negative impact.
It’s not all wind and anemometers, however; students also get a chance to sleep in yurts, some for the first time. Grassland activities at Larry Joe’s Grassland Paradise include Mongolian dancing (heavily supported by Dorian, the head teacher), archery, whip making, and, of course, wrestling.
Besides sleeping in yurts, students also get the rare chance to stay with local Mongolians in their homes. Sleeping on heated kangs (Northern style bed that is heated underneath), students have an authentic Mongolian experience, living like locals in the area. For DCSH’s first experience on the steppes of Inner Mongolia, the stars come out and bring constellations crystal clear. DCSH students sleep bundled up under their farmhouse roofs while Genghis Khan’s spirit gallops across the night sky.