Last week was an ongoing road trip, as it was Education Week at Aberdeen Mall all week. The mall was filled with student art, science experiments, singing, dancing and art work. Education Week got me thinking about how “unpublic” public education is for the most part, and how refreshing and important it is to see children’s creativity, enthusiasm and what they’re actually learning displayed in a public place.
Education Week has become our way to invite the community into our classrooms and let them see firsthand what’s going on there.
First off, the displays of student art work seem to get more amazing each year, and teachers are finding multiple ways of letting students get in touch with their inner artists. As you look at these samples, you can see that visual arts have moved from defining an artist as someone who can replicate a picture to visual arts as self expression.
Everyone has an artist within, and our students are encouraged to unleash that.
As always, Science Jam was a big hit. Three floors of young scientists brought their work to the largest non competitive science fair in BC. Their displays were impressive, but even more impressive was the way they explained their hypotheses and results to anyone who asked. I had a chat with a boy who had done a project on rockets. While his question was about what kind of vinegar interacted the most actively with pop to produce the best rocket “fuel”, his factual knowledge about rockets and their fuel was staggering.
When I told him that, he said simply, “It’s my passion.” That’s a comment to cherish.
We didn’t spend all our time and arts and sciences. Our Career Education students in plumbing, automotive, culinary arts and hairdressing designed activities for elementary students to get a taste of their options in secondary school. The older kids led the younger ones through some activities such as tire changing contests and hair styling. I you haven’t seen 12 year old boys trying their hand at braiding hair, you haven’t really lived.
Last, but certainly not least, I had a chance to tour the Space Exhibit put together by Glyn Davies’ Grade 6/7 class at Anderson Elementary School. The kids acted as tour guides (my guide was young Mikah, in costume as Sir Isaac Newton) and gave the most informed description of the planets and solar system I’ve ever heard. I have to admit, my knowledge of the solar system falls far short of what these young space explorers know.
I’ll end with a comment one of the parents at Aberdeen left me with. She’d moved here from the interior recently, and was astounded at the whole Science Jam concept. As she said, “This is fantastic. We lived in a small town, but we never had anything like this going on.”
I agree, we’ve got it going on in our classrooms, and it’s great to have a chance to show it off. Many thanks to our staff, children and teachers. You’ve done Richmond proud.