First Annual Science Fair

Catchy title, eh?  It's all I've got today.

So, I have this friend, Wendy who is crazy creative and uber cool in a quirky, fun sort of way - and she has these mad imagination skills.  We grew up together, and for as long as I can remember she has always been this way.  I LOVED having playdates with her when we were little girls.  She made our playtime come alive - no matter what we did.

And now we're all grown up living just a couple of towns away from each other with families of our own.  She is also a homeschooling Mama - and very much an encouragement and inspiration to me and my floudering first years of figuring out this whole journey.  Anyway, now her crazy, cool imagination overflows into her homeschooling life, and thankfully - she brings a whole huge whack of us along for the ride.  She is the one who throws an end of the year field day in her big backyard.  She is the one who throws the Valentine parties and the winter retreats.  Left to my own devices, my poor children probably wouldn't have any fun if it weren't for Miss Wendy.

She is also the one who pretty much single-handedly put together a homeschool Science fair for about forty of us yesterday.  All we had to do was to figure out a project to do, bring some food to share, and show up.  That in itself stressed me out.

Whilst she and I grew up together in the same little country hometown, her creativity and imaginative genes did not overflow onto me.  So, my wee boyzies and I struggled for awhile on what we were going to share.  When a topic is as wide open as "anything to do with Science" - well, that kind of paralyzes Kaden and I.  We like clearly defined boundaries.  Jesse is a different story, but we were all in this together, so we all had to agree on one single topic.  We had a couple of turtles awhile back, so I thought we were golden - but then they got depressed and wouldn't eat, so we decided to let them go.
 Ye ole classic tri-fold posterboard...
Finally, on one of our jillion walks in the woods, after finding a snake and three salamanders on said walk, we all agreed that we should just go with what we know.  We know nature, we know creepy crawlies, and that's pretty much what the boys live and breathe anyway, so that's what we did.  We had six salamanders of three different breeds, a snake (which our cat almost killed the night before.  Holy stressful.), tons of things to touch and feel, and pictures of just about everything they've ever caught, captured, and released.

Super fun.
And the whole day was a huge success.

 There were bearded dragons...
 A volcano exhibit.
You cannot possibly have a Science fair without at least one volcano.

And I learned something new yesterday....  I grew up with the classic vinegar and baking soda volcano explosions.  WELL!  Just let me tell you the most amazing reaction that happens with Diet Coke and Mentos!!!  It was crazy!!!  Apparantly there are a jillion YouTube videos going around with different explosions using these two items, and it's sort of old news.  I had no idea, but guess what's going into our grocery cart next shopping trip?  Micah used 5 mentos, and it was amazing.  Just think what could happen with an entire package!!!
 There was a tsunami exhibit...
 Worm composting...
Digestion...with a grody, cool demonstration...
 Turtles, amphibians, ants, rabbits, dinosaurs, simple machines, and more!
Wendy also had some fun contests to see who could build the tallest structures out of toothpicks, marshmallows, and cheetos - and every single kid had a chance to try.  Kaden totally followed the rules and tried to win, Jesse focused on creativity, and Ransom focused on making himself tiny little marshmallow "sth-nackies.  Mm.  This is a yummy treat treat!"

That's my boy.

Another thing I love about Wendy's events is that there is a huge gamet of ages, faiths, and backgrounds.  The big kids play with the younger ones, and it doesn't matter where you come from, or your political stances.  There is just mutual respect and mutual friendship; and I love that.

I also love that the Moms are all chill and pretty cool.  I don't feel "weird" and I don't feel like I'm competing.  That's kind of important to me.  Well....I know I'm weird...I just love that I'm not made to feel any weirder than I already am..

And I loved the food.
 I mean seriously, right?

If I had been in charge of the food, I would have left it simply at "just bring snacks."
Wendy tied it all together.  She made magnifying glass cakes.

And look at the sandwiches she had us bring....
Being the amazing homeschooling Mama that I am, I said to the boys:  "We're putting letters on these because it's going be in the form of the Periodic Table of Elements.  What?  You don't know what that means?.... Me neither.  I have totally forgotten my entire Chemistry education, therefore  Miss Wendy will explain when we get there."

Thanks, Wendy.
You rock.  Hardcore.
And thanks for ed-ju-ma-cating my children.


Kristi said...

Awwww --- sooo fun!!!!! So cool you two are still in each others lives after all these years! so awesome!!! and you -- are you kidding me????? not creative??? you are insane if you think that's're amazing!!!!!

Esther Littlefield said...

This *almost* makes me want to homeschool. Almost.