Our interest in flying birds has sparked an avalanche of engineering ideas. One student suggested that the best way for us to study the birds would be to build a flying machine. This way we could observe our feathered friends more closely.
Many of the children have begun creating prototypes (their word, not ours).
On another day we asked them what materials they would need for their machines. (We want to make sure we’re prepared!)
“metal, string, more metal, and gas”
“We have to do little wires to make them work.”
“very small metal pieces”
“We need some wire that carries electricity to keep the boosters working.”
“We need a plug as big as this building so we can go far.”
“Or, we need to make a fire on a stick and it attaches to the wire.”
“We can make a seat out of fabric.”
“We need shirts to make a buckle, it buckles in front and in back.”
“June is when the birds come out.”
“We need a parachute and a lighter, in case the boosters go out.”
“And metal cages to catch the bird, with food in it.”
“fabric for the wings”
“We need feathers for the wings.”
Upon returning from our Spring Break, we noticed two new inhabitants near our pond.
We have been watching them from afar and are beginning to formulate questions about our new feathered friends. The goose above can be found sitting on the pond’s island, visible from the both the pond and fireplace decks. The other goose can frequently be found hanging out on our sled riding hill. We can easily observe the former from our Nature Playground.
This morning, we asked the children where they thought the geese might have been before arriving at our school
We had answers ranging from “Up north” to “Hawaii”. The children noticed that some of the ideas held connections. Many places were warmer than Pennsylvania and a few listed the same state. One of the students added that geese like to go where it is warm in the winter and referred to it as “hibernation.” This set other children on their toes, with their hands waving madly in the air. It took us a few tries, but eventually we figured out that it is actually called “migration” and that hibernation is something different.
Our new questions are:
Who hibernates? Who migrates?
We’ve asked the children to help us figure out where to find the information.