Last Thursday we went to T’s school for a Math and Science Family Night. It was enlightening. And fun-tastic.
Staff and older students did a phenomenal job setting up various math and science centers for kids (and adults) of all ages. T’s school has a science lab, which was where they staged the science centers. Health, engineering, and life sciences were represented along with many other topics.
Math centers were set up in the cafeteria, separated by grade level, and each area had activities ranging from individual tasks like “Ship Shapes” to multi-person games like “Math Bingo” (for the K set).
T’s favorite part? The marble runs. And look how easy they are to set up. Take some pipe insulation (split in half the long way), some masking tape (to secure the runs in different patterns), and marbles, and roll on. Now I wish I’d saved my bucks on that fancy marble run; C happens to have tons of this pipe insulation in our garage (d’oh!).
I think my favorite part were the walking sticks (bugs). They didn’t like my sweater too much (their hairs on their legs kept getting stuck), so C let them walk all over him instead. Thanks, C!
As for the math half of the evening, T got right to work setting up the color blocking patterns. When we asked how he knew which colors went where (he had to match the colored squares to words on a grid), he said he knew which colors went where because of the first letters in the words. OK, so not reading per se, but oh-so-close!
So, in conclusion:
Observation: While some people find math and science interesting, engaging, exciting, and fun, others need a little push toward the two topics via non-threatening methods and means.
Question: What if there was a night that kids and their parents could come to “play” math and science games together?
Hypothesis: Through a number of fun, hands-on math and science stations, both kids and adults have fun doing math and science… and they don’t even realize they are doing it/ learning anything.
Plan and Do a Test: Bring families to school one weeknight for a Math and Science Family Night Out.
Record and Analyze: We saw kids and adults working and playing together. They laughed and appeared to be having a great time in the science and math labs together. Attendees asked questions and teachers and other lab staff volunteers answered them throughout the evening, further enhancing the educational experience.
Conclusion: A problem-free, fun-filled, and educational time was had by all at the school’s Math and Science Family Night Out!
I think that sums it up, RMT’ers!
QUESTION: What fun, free activities has your child(ren)’s school sponsored to encourage learning in a fun and non-threatening way?
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