Last weekend the kids went with their Dad to “Bugfest” and had a great time. This is an event the NC Museum of Natural Sciences puts on every year highlighting everything buggy. Seems my kids spent a great deal of time constructing huge webs with string. They also drew some lines with markers and watched as termites crawled along the lines, following the smelly trail of the marker (apparently it mimics their own pheromone trails). The most jaw dropping thing they did, however, was eat an assortment of buggy treats. Here is what was on the menu:
Fried dragonflies with mushrooms and dijon
Mealworms with salsa on crackers
Chocolate covered mealworms
Graham crackers with melted chocolate and giant waterbug meat
How can my son, the one who eats the same 8 things every day, have eaten giant water bugs, loved them, and gone back for more? I can hardly believe it. Apparently, water bugs taste like chicken and dragonflies taste like crab. Uh, no thanks.
On Thursday Noah went to “Math Club” while Jessi went to her Stream Study class (Great things going on at the CCEE!). While Jessi was sampling the stream for temperature and dissolved oxygen levels, Noah was making paper airplanes, making “math machines”, figuring out how to make a trapezoid out of an apple (see Maria’s blog post about this here), and watching a really cool video about making math doodles (Infinity elephants). Math machines are when you come up with an equation (i.e. what the machine does). You tell everyone what goes in and then what comes out, and they have to guess what your machine does. For example, Noah made his machine do two things. It adds 10 and subtracts 3. If you input 6, out will come 13. Somehow, the kids have to figure it out. The infinity elephants were also very neat, and it’s worthwhile watching the videos posted by “Vihart”. There are several on YouTube.
Maria's math club's are wonderful, as she tries to make math fun and accessible, and shows kids that math is everywhere. She's got several projects in the works to spread this "math love". I'll definitely be posting more here about what the club is doing.
Continuing with our math and nature theme, this weekend we had another wonderful outdoor walk with Bob. One of the things he showed the kids is how to calculate "pi" on a millstone (we were at Yates Mill Pond, which has a working mill).
We also learned about how to build a log cabin, how to make rope out of tulip poplar bark and/or milkweed stems, and how to make a caffeinated tea out of yaupon holly. We also spent some time dip-netting in the pond and pulling out all kinds of lovely creatures.
We found dragonfly larvae, giant water bugs (yum!... not), scorpion bugs, tadpoles, a frog still with a tail, fish, and even a very cute baby musk turtle (he was about the size of a quarter).
I can’t help but marvel at all of the wonderful things out there to learn and all of the wonderful ways of learning them. The possibilities are endless.
Incidentally, our Life of Fred reading has had to take a back seat these past few weeks. I hope to get back to it when some of our other classes end in a month or so. Seems I'm just like many homeschool moms out there. I always have the best of intentions of finishing something and then life gets in the way. Anyway, we WILL get to it. It'll just take longer than I thought.