Another fall season of Big Kids Club for Preschoolers, and even though this is my third year leading classes, this September, I had a big surprise. Again.
We called the season #AllFallDown, and one of the biggest things to drop this season is the average age of the kids in my class. In the summer, it was 4.5, and now that all those Big Kids are in Kindergarten, the new crop of afternoon kids are all around 2.
My class is supposed to be about Physics, and forces, and engineering, and since our afternoon program of play and learning is inclusive (for “Big Kids of all ages”), we’ve been tackling the topic from its foundations.
In retrospect, I think I should have called this class “Anti-gravity,” or “Gravity defying,” since the rest of the lessons and experiments have all been about staying up. How strong are eggs? Did you know the curved shape helps to distribute the weight of heavy mama chickens, so they can sit on them without breaking?
How else can we protect things from breaking? We watched videos on our new projector wall, and then set about testing our theories. On our gang of mini-crash-test-kids, who were strapped in, tossed out, and sent zipping down the lines, helping us to explore the wonders of drag (via parachute), slope, and velocity (a la zipline).
The classes are about experimentation, and that’s definitely been our experience!
There are more pics, and some slow-mo videos on our Instagram feed and you don’t have to have an account to see them! Just click here.
If you’re wondering, the eggs did break when Ron stood on top of them. The light-weight potato bag plastic parachute worked much better than the others, and the zipline works best with a steep slope. Maybe you could have guessed all three results, but the fun isn’t in finding the answers. It’s in the journey.
Join us next Friday when we discover even more amazing aspects of eggs. See you then.
Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math
Among educators of young children (primarily women), they are collectively called either: STEM; or…
A preschool program plan that is about to go over a cliff…
I sure hope this ‘chute opens…
I will be the first to admit: science is not my strong suit.
Unfortunately, that fact is related to my near-incomprehension of complex mathematics.
And it gets worse… for someone who designed and manages a web-based admin system, I’m not even super confident with technology, to say nothing of engineering. I have always been “artsy.”
So what makes me think I should teach a Big Kids Club class about physics? About gravity? About science?
I don’t know anything about those things…
Three reasons to take a flying leap:
- It is so important that children, and women, and everyone, get familiar with technology and science if we are going to steer our way forward in the changing world.
- Kids love to watch things fall down. Gravity, speed, velocity, and acceleration are behind everything we experience, and our evolution has programmed preschoolers to want to know more about the physical forces and rules.
- Big Kids Club is about learning through play, and learning together. So even though I don’t have all the answers yet, my understanding of technology has at least taught me where to find them. On the internet, of course!
The Big Kids are superheros!
When children, especially girls, are taught to build, figure, study, and predict, they learn the fundamental skillset they need – to save the world!
The world needs scientists, and engineers. We need innovative technicians who understand that our existence is ruled by forces we can’t see, even though they govern everything about our experience.
So this season, we’re going to experience them. We’re going to play with them. We’re going to drop eggs, and roll balls, we’re going to experiment with slope, and angles, faster, slower, over surfaces and through elements. We’re going to Learn through Play – making predictions, and validating our ideas.
Taking our learning to the streets
We’re also going to build a zipline and maybe a trampoline.
We’re going to new heights, and we’re going to come straight back down.
Because at the end of all this, the one thing in this world that we will know to be absolutely certain, is that what goes up, must come down.
That’s what gravity, and G-force Fridays, are all about.
From September to the end of November, from 1 – 4pm.
It’s STEM. It’s physics. It will be fun!