Happy Pi Day, everyone! On March 14th, we celebrated the 24th annual Pi Day at the Exploratorium. The Field Trip Explainers joined in the festivities by writing and performing a Pi Day song. The core band is called Buffon’s Needle (a nod to the mathematician that came up with a probability problem as a method to estimate pi, check out the Pi Toss exhibit). So proud to be a part of a celebration so joyous and geeky! Still find myself humming 3.141 592 653 589…
This week we had our sixth annual Mr Rogers training (inspired by former Explainers, Kristin and Hannah), and reflected on how we have the opportunity to make positive and personal connections with our visitors. Before the training, I looked up some Mr Rogers quotes and after reading them I am sure that Mr Rogers would have definitely been an Explainer fan. Here they are:
Fred Rogers quotes-
“If you could only sense how important you are to the lives of those you meet; how important you can be to the people you may never even dream of. There is something of yourself that you leave at every meeting with another person.”
“Anyone who does anything to help a child in his life is a hero to me. ”
“In times of stress, the best thing we can do for each other is to listen with our ears and our hearts and to be assured that our questions are just as important as our answers.”
“Whether we’re a preschooler or a young teen, a graduating college senior or a retired person, we human beings all want to know that we’re acceptable, that our being alive somehow makes a difference in the lives of others.”
“When we treat children’s play as seriously as it deserves, we are helping them feel the joy that’s to be found in the creative spirit. It’s the things we play with and the people who help us play that make a great difference in our lives.”
“The world needs a sense of worth, and it will achieve it only by its people feeling that they are worthwhile.”
I made a version of the trolley to Mr Rogers’ make-believe land. We each wrote things we do to make a visitor feel special on a slip of paper and put it in our homemade trolley. Then we sent the trolley around, and each of us read one of the sentences out load. Here’s what we wrote:
Try to remember the visitors’ names whenever possible.
Check in with the students that I did an orientation for later in the day.
Delight in a child’s discoveries- make it exciting to see what they are learning.
Give a kid a big smile, wide eyes, and enthusiastic praise.
In an orientation ask for a volunteer and be encouraging of what they do and try in front of their group.
Spend time listening to their discoveries at an exhibit.
Teach them how to do a magic trick and then have them do it.
Stop what I’m doing, look them in the eyes, and only listen to what they are saying.
Make them feel comfortable.
Listen to them.
Listen to people, be surprised when visitors find something new.
Do something together!
To be there for them when they need someone to talk to about their discoveries, concerns, stories, etc.
I can make kids feel special by listening to them and validating their ideas.
In training the other day we wrote haikus and poems for the water exhibits. Sit back, relax and let the words flow…
tiny starts to life
are you aware of yourself
float, gasp, push along
water spins freely
knob turns clockwise, drain closes
h2o still spins
cold liquid flutter hypnotic
vortex, Doug Hollis
great minds think alike
spin quickly stare watch question turn wonder compare slowly touch pat ball
go turn wispy world
big marble ball
turbulent orb spins
melts, fades, rushes by so fast
can I take a ride?
I thought this was a lovely interview with Jane Goodall and two children’s book authors that wrote and illustrated books about Jane’s life. Jane Goodall talks a lot about how her interest in science developed through close observations and curiosity about the world around her. My favorite story is about how she hid in a chicken coop for hours because she wanted to see for herself how a hen could lay something as strange as an egg. Enjoy!
“Jane Goodall’s Childhood Fascinations”, New York Times article (and check out the video!)
Training this April was a little foggy- fog exhibits, fog in a bottle, laminar v turbulent flow, fog and cloud(less) observations, and…
FOG HAIKUS. We created these poems in small groups by brainstorming words that we associate with fog. Then we shuffled them around like magnetic poetry until we were happy with the poem.
Some of the poems about weather related exhibits.
Can you guess which exhibits they are?
soft sky fly(ing) by
crawling explosive Bay fog
creep heavy weather
blue swirls, spin wildly
fog swirls purple sky
coldness and water combine
crash connect collide
Haikus are a great way to explain the way we experience something…anything, by distilling our thoughts into a few select and simple words. A few weeks back in training we created haikus about DNA. They are really delightful!
Trillions clump; it’s me
Invisible bio blend
Sex chain extraction
Life chain mutates you
Sex strings trillions tiny gene
Rise itty mind boggling fate
Unique complex strip
Explore snot-like stuff
Soap spit tilt pour extraction
Mutate nano swirl
Amazing little cell Dixie spit
Step flowers you!! Spit strand, spiral strands
Unique evolution, unique mutation reproduction