Saturday, September 17, 2005

Fun in the Sun!

Our Life Learner event today was a success! It was chaotic and messy and loud and FUN! The kids all drifted back and forth between watching/making/checking out the sun themed stuff and just playing. Most of the kids had been here before and were very familiar with the toys we have, not to mention that they are all out where they can see them, so keeping them focused only on what we offered was not even a passing thought. We just went with the flow. The adults just jumped right in and invited the kids along for the ride.

Our solar balloon did not work, but it gave us some ideas about how to change the design if we were to try again. The sundials were fun and most of us went home with ideas to make more substantial versions, with plaster or concrete. The solar oven was completed at 4pm and in the short hour before the sun was off the backyard it heated water from 70 degrees to 115 degrees F! I'll be bringing it to the park and other suitable venues and have it cook us something each time. Some of the kids had the patience to hold the magnifying glass steady enough to burn some dried grass. Those that did not, got to see it burst into flames anyway.

The great thing about today was the way what happened today will continue for a while in the minds and lives of the families. The parents can take what we explored today and add on as it comes up in their lives. Just by being here, the kids got a foundation of information and experience about the sun, even if it was nothing they could recall on a quiz. The next time the same or similar information is before them, they will have a neural pathway to reinforce. That makes the info all the move available to them. Especially since this new info will only come about due to events relevant to their lives, not by someone else forcing a schedule of learning on them.

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