Monday, April 22, 2013

Earth Day

Ashley is an RN with a passion for science.  In fact, she teaches the STEM (science, technology, engineering, mathematics) class that Michael takes at a local homeschool co-op.  So, in celebration of Earth Day, she put together a program for the kids.

Fittingly, when we arrived at the park, someone had left a lovely chalk drawing on the floor of the pavilion.

Anonymous art

The first exercise was a demonstration of how streams, lakes and other waterways become polluted by various sources.  She lined up a dozen or so small cups, each filled with a liquid or material representing waste, and labeled accordingly (factory sludge, agricultural fertilizer, car oil, etc.).  At the end of the line of cups was half a milk jug with water in it representing a natural body of water.

Line up your toxins!

One by one, Ashley and the kids talked about each pollution source; where it came from, why it was created, how it got to the water source; and then dumped the little cup of pollution into the jug of water.

Michael's "learning" face

The jug of water got pretty nasty.

Nastified water ... poor little lake :(
"That's kind of nasty"

Once the water pollution exercise was finished, the kids were set loose on a pile of recycled materials which all of the families had pitched in and brought along.

Raw materials

The first objective was creating planters and planting seeds.

Michael's seed silo

More "traditional" seed starter

Next was the "free form make whatever you want" portion of the program.

Intently creating

Collaborative creation

And, of course, what would any learning experience be without books?

Additional resources

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