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Learn on Practical Problems

To carry out environmental impact assessment, make the calculations and give a valid decision on the Aral Sea problem – small, but very conscious students of 4th grade faced such problems. Within 45 minutes of the lesson "Mathematics and the problems of the Aral Sea", they have become real environmentalist analysts.

Lately great significance is placed on the introduction of integrated subjects teaching technologies, interactive forms of learning and development of students' skills on application of rules and regulations in practice at schools. The fourth graders of the school number 50 have learned in practice to apply the formula and more deeply acquainted with the problem of the Aral Sea during the latest lesson which was concluding the second quarter. The details are in the reportage.

Students prepared thoroughly: there were itinerary list with a map of Uzbekistan, supporting estimated formulas, rulers and colored pencils on every desk.

The first step of the research is to study the Aral Sea territory and figure out which rivers flow into it, through which countries or regions they pass and why the water of the once mighty Amudarya and Sirdarya rivers fully does not reach to the Aral Sea today. Students called five countries with ringing childish voice: Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan, and one after the other showed at the blackboard what area of the country belongs to the Aral Sea region.

The Amudarya flows in southern Surkhandarya region, south-west of Bukhara and Khorezm regions on the territory of Uzbekistan and runs along the border of the two republics - Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan. Flowing across Karakalpakstan, the Amudarya transforms into a streamlets, its waters are used for washing the saline soils and irrigation water-demanding crops and do not reach the Aral Sea. The level of the reservoir has fallen so much that the whole sea was divided into two parts: the northern Small Aral Sea which belongs to the territory of Kazakhstan and our Large Aral.

Students put in first digits on notebooks - 67 499 km²: this is inland sea area according to the statistics of the 1960s. At that time more than 20 species of fish swashed in its waters, including several endemic species such as the Aral barbel and Aral white-eye. The Aral Sea used to be the fourth largest in the world among the inland lakes after the Caspian Sea, Lake Superior (Canada, USA) and Lake Victoria (Tanzania, Kenya, Uganda).

According to team captain - teacher Leila Nasreddinovna Alizada students behave as if they are moving from the school office to the capital of the Republic of Karakalpakstan. For this purpose it is necessary to calculate how long it will take to cover the distance from point A to point B on the basis of the fact that from Tashkent to Muinak – 1,400 km. A few minutes of heated calculations in a notebook, and the answer has been founded: 20 hours on the territory of the republic - and you can walk through the legendary Sea and see the ships that will never go away from the casted anchor.

Students traveled not only on distance, but on time - they fall in the 1960-1990's and 2000's, and calculated how changed the Aral Sea area for half a century. Unfortunate statistics makes you thoughtful: the area of the Aral Sea shrank from 67 thousand square kilometers to 59.9 thousand square kilometers, and then to 36.8 thousand square kilometers, and during the subsequent period it was marked by a truly catastrophic rates: from 28 thousand to 9 thousand square kilometers... According to the recent reports, the Aral Sea area totals 8.3 thousand square kilometers. Students calculated how much percent left from the original volume: as it turned out, only 12 %! Drawn chart clearly shows how to change the volume of the reservoir.

At the end of the lesson Khoniya Asilbekova, the head of department at the State Committee for Nature Protection of the Republic of Uzbekistan, congratulated the students with excellent research work and the analysis of the environmental problems of the Aral Sea, thanked the school administration for active discussion and education of students in matters of environmental protection and biodiversity.

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