Yesterday we all went off to the Adelaide Showgrounds for Science Alive Show 2012, part of National Science Week. It was our first ever science show and what fun it was. We were there for more than 4 hours and still didn’t really finish exploring everything there was to see. The range of displays was broad, with plenty of fun for kids and adults alike.
Our kids had their faces painted, then had lots of fun exploring the displays.
We got up and personal with some reptiles.
Here is Ben holding a Black Headed Python found in Northern Australia. Today we did a bit of googling about them and enjoyed this page with photos and video.
Ben and Ryan enjoyed this simple activity. The yellow buckets were spring loaded like a pump and had a hole at the end. The folks from the University of Adelaide filled them with (presumably) dry ice and the kids then got to shoot the gas rings into the air.
There is so much more…Ben explored some astronomy, D had a look at the electric car, and a big as telescope. All the kids watched a chemistry show, and the older kids tried to figure out why it didn’t hurt to sit on a chair seat of nails. Ryan discovered a solar powered toy train, and Emma submitted some invention ideas. All the kids LOVED the tasting kinds of exhibits and they are desperate to try make some Sherbert, which they saw demonstrated.
We went along just for the fun of it, and to expose the kids to some sciencey fun. I really think it’s important to keep the fun in learning. I remember school excursions when I was a child and I’ve seen the same thing recently….kids on a fun outing to the zoo or the museum eager to dash around and discover things, but being tied down to trailing around as a mob with piece of paper in hand to answer required questions. It killed it for me, and I generally found such excursions tiresome and frustrating. We did just dash from one exhibit to another, at one stage we’d completely lost all three of the older ones as they all became so excited to see the things they wanted to see. Apart from the anxiety it caused me to track them down and make sure they were all safe, it really was fun for them to explore at their own pace the very things they were interested in. They didn’t write a single thing down, but everyone learned stuff and discovered a little bit about how cool science really is.
See more of this weeks Unschool Monday posts here.
I bought the kids this world map puzzle, (because Ben asked for one) which includes some of the nations flags.
While they built it, we talked about what a continent is, and identified some of the capital cities for example, Canberra and Wellington being the two most relevant to them. Both Ben and Emma enjoyed spotting South Africa on the map because that’s where Dad comes from. Emma was surprised to discover that Egypt is on the same continent. She also thought the UK would be as big as the USA and was surprised by it’s tiny land mass.
Afterwards we pulled out the World Atlas and spend a few minutes browsing maps and Ben said he liked how you could see on the map where the mountains are. I showed them the Key to symbols on the map so they could start to understand what they were looking at.
And I spotted Emma in Sam’s bed piled up high with spare mattress and blankets with one of her library books from the Horrible Geography series.
(Unschool Monday is hosted over at Owlet. Pop over to find posts about other unschooly days.)
With our last days in New Zealand approaching, we all wanted to visit the trees we’d planted back in September last year. The children wanted to see if they’d grown big enough to carve their initials in. Of course being very very slow growing trees, none of them had gained more than a few milimetres at a guess. Nevertheless, they are still there and doing well.
We had another reason to visit though, that is we are expecting our 5th child and it didn’t seem right that he/she would be the only one without a special New Zealand tree to honour their roots. Being conceived in NZ (but will be born in Australia) this little one needed a tree too. Tom and Mahrukh were very kind to arrange a visit just for us and at late notice. Here are a few pics from the day. These were taken by Mahrukh…we have some too which I might post at a later date.
In the back of Tom’s truck for a short ride up the track.
Tom and Doug digging the hole.
We chose a Miro this time.
A little Miro tree for Baby Johnson
When Emma’s Puriri tree is about 150 years old it will look a bit like this one.
Many thanks to Tom & Mahrukh from Cue Haven. They have such an inspirational vision to restore a 59 acre farm back to native forest. I think I’ve caught a tree planting bug. I definitely want to do this again.