BENER MERIAH, ACEH – Mount Bumi Telong, which is about 10 km from the school, is one of the active volcanoes in the province. To reduce the risk of disasters, the government has set up a volcano monitoring office. As part of the study of the Solar System, on the sub-topic of natural phenomena in grade IX semester 2, I took the students to visit the office.
I split the class into four small groups. Each group received a worksheet with guidance about the data that needed to be collected, such as the potential for disaster, disaster management, and the impact of volcanoes. At the site, they gathered data through interviews, observations, as well as reading books and the data displayed in the office.
They were able to obtain information on disaster preparedness for volcanic eruptions as an effort to avoid or minimize the number of casualties. The students also learned about the processe for monitoring of volcanoes and the equipment used for this surveillance.
The students received an explanation, and were able to learn about the connection between the hot springs and the fertility of soil around volcanoes. They also learnt about the parts of a volcano such as magma channels on the surface of the earth so that the student were able to explain the influence of the processes occurring in the lithosphere on changes in its chemical composition and temperature.
"We now understand that the fertility of the coffee plantation soil is also an impact of the volcano in this area. We also found out how hot springs prove the volcano is still active, and about the government's need to monitor the volcano 24/7," said Deddy, one of the students. Other students acknowledged that they had a better understanding of how to recognize the signs of and imminent volcanic eruption, its dangers, and actions that should be taken in case of disaster. Students were also excited to learn about earthquake recording equipment, the seismometer, and see how it works. From this visit, the students became more skilled in making observations and writing their reports.