Liftoff! It’s our second week of teaching the daycare students at By the Hand and our Science Giants were out of this world, quite literally! On Monday and Tuesday, the day campers had the opportunity to learn space and the planets in our solar system. Many of them knew most of the planets, such as Earth (of course), Mars, and Saturn – but some of the others, such as Neptune or Uranus seemed new to them. Each students was assigned a different planet and read some facts aloud about the they were assigned. They seemed pleasantly surprised to learn that Mercury, the closest planet to the sun was actually very cold and that Jupiter has an ongoing storm within it’s ‘spot’ that is twice as large as the whole of planet Earth. Then it was time for fun with art supplies! The day campers had a chance to create their very own planets with styrofoam balls and paint! Some worked off the pictures given to them about their assigned planet from the previous activity while others, like Madison said “I’ve never seen an all purple planet before, so I’m going to make one!” Their planets all turned out very artistic and different and the kids had a blast making a mess, no surprise there! To wrap everything up, the students created their own solar system by representing planets in a minimized scale of distance from other. Following a great idea from our Science Giant leader Chantiera, the students even tried to create their own revolution around our Sun, played by our Science Giant Keith! This ended in a kind of ‘Houston, we have a problem’ situation, but was a ton of fun otherwise!
Then with the groups together on Wednesday, we made our very own spaceship helmets out of simple paper grocery bags and some fun craft supplies. The kids made alien ears, symbols, and even added in a little planet trivia that they learned from the days prior. Finally all our little astronauts had a chance to go outside and experience a real rocket launch, or at least a water-based, minimized launch! Using a water bottle, cork, water, and a bike pump, our Science Giants leaders show the students how to blast off! It took a minute to get the hang of it and make sure everything fit but once they started shooting off, we were in business! We timed how long they were in the air and even tested in the bottles would go higher with less water in them! Such an amazing week of activities, followed by an awesome field trip on Thursday to the Chicago River!
This Thursday, the students had a chance to join the daycare students on the Skyline Cruise!! They were able to see the architecture of some memorable buildings, learn about Chicago’s history, and see our great city from a different view all at the same time. Some of the things that the students found most interesting were that the Chicago river actually used to be very polluted. Residents used to use the river as the primary waste dump which would cause the water to be very toxic if consumed. Now the river is less polluted and there are different ways how we have manged to better filter the Chicago River. One of those ways, is a building that is located right above the Chicago Cut Steakhouse. This particular building filter the water from the Chicago River and uses it as energy and for a cooling system. The building then, filters the water back into the water back into the river, making it cleaner than it was when it was received. The students were really impressed by this. They felt that more buildings should go in a similar route in order to help the environment. The students also learned about architecture facts, such as bundle tubing. Bundle tubing helps with building structure and it is used to hold the Willis Tower standing tall!! The Burj Kalifa is the largest building in the world and it is locate din Dubai. It is twice the size of the Willis Tower and it also uses bundle tubing. The students learned A LOT about Chicago and how things are created for a certain purpose. The buildings in Chicago may look the same and some may stand out, but each and every one of them have their own story.