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  • Writer's pictureMallory G Foster

Month in Moments - March '21

The Month in Moments calendar for March has been up on Patreon and I totally spaced and forgot to share here!

Head over to Patreon via the link here to download your copy today!

Here are some notes about this month's calendar!

1) These can be short and sweet or you can draw them out. I originally started these calendars back in 2018 to a) put my plans somewhere useful rather than bombard baby-HG with them too much and b) to support families in creating meaningful moments in the little time so many families get together (average is 37min/day). I tried to keep things to tasks you could reasonably do in 10-15min, though given more time, I bet kiddos will play and explore longer, and you might too since this month is full of challenges to tackle!

2) Want more? Join Patreon for March's project guide which is "Tinker like a Thinker". We'll be playing with circuits and robots, seeing what we can do with a peanut, using engineering design questions to dissect a word and think about the design of everyday items, and much, much more! I plan for up to 6hrs of activities per day.

3) So...what's this month about? SCIENCE!!!!! I started my work in education at a Girl Scout arts and science camp about 15 years ago. Throughout college, I worked at the Morehead Planetarium and Science Center as an exhibits and education assistant, camp counselor, club leader, and I don't even know what else. As an environmental geology major, I got to do fieldwork in Big Bend National Park, the mountains of NC, coastal NC, West Virginia, and Wyoming. Then, I taught Earth and Environmental Science and Geology to high schoolers. So, long story short, science education and how we learn science (and how that can help us learn anything) is one of my passions. Here are the sciencey things you'll see this month:

  • Write It Down: Scientists write, graph, map, draw, diagram, and more. I think one thing that decreases retention in the STEM field is that this comes as a shock to learners. So, let's write!!!! Also, a key role of a scientist is to communicate findings and we do that through writing! We'll start by making a science notebook. Learners will be invited to do a super simple lab demo, draw it, and then try to repeat it using their drawings! We'll share this same demo with a loved one via video (or you can mail a copy of the drawings!).

  • Ask Questions: Science starts with questions! One thing I found with my high schoolers is they came to me wanting answers... and I came to them stubbornly NOT giving out answers. We spent the first two weeks (or more) on getting comfy asking questions. Let's get that passion for wonder going strong this week through walking and wondering, looking at pictures and wondering what happened, finding the question behind a myth, and more.

  • Make Plans and Test Them: A great science question is testable! This week, we'll plan how to test some concepts and how to build some structures. There's a little demo in here that I didn't explain perfectly in the teeny boxes I leave for things, but I will share the set up in Patreon and on Instagram (March 20).

  • Try Again: Y'all... my labs have messed up so.many.times. We did this awesome ocean acidification demo with my students and my pH paper was always so awful that our data was basically useless... but we did it anyways and used other indicators. Failing in front of learners is humbling and boosts their confidence - they see they can try, mess up, and try again. It's nice if we say it, it's way better if we mean it and actually go right ahead and fail with them :). This week, we'll repeat a few tasks adding on challenges. We'll clean up an oil spill, go on a mini archaeology dig, and more.

  • Help Solve Problems: This year, more than some, we've seen just how critical scientists are to our well-being. Epidemiologists, public health professionals, social scientists, health researchers, geographers have been so key this year. We'll look at a few problems scientists have worked to tackle (pandemics, desertification, lack of access to clean water) and we'll end by making a mission patch like NASA scientists and astronauts get! Mission Accomplished!

4) Finally, some recommendations!

I just ordered HG safety glasses from this cool women-owned shop! You don't need safety glasses this month but there are a few things learners should step back from if they don't have them (volcanoes mainly). I've never had purple safety glasses before and I'm hoping the extra kids' pair I ordered fits...

We'll also be making paper circuits which requires copper tape, LED lights, a coin battery, and a binder clip. Otherwise, I like AdaFruit and Chibitronics for circuit gadgets.

Books!!! There are so many!!! I'll have a more comprehensive list in the project guide, but here are a few that my family has enjoyed or that have looked AWESOME! You can check out my book list over on Bookshop here.

  • Mother Miti by Napoli and Nelson

  • Earth: My First 4.54 Billion Years by McAnulty and Litchfield

  • Cece Loves Science by Derting, Johannes, Harrison

  • Ada Twist Scientist and all Questioneer books and resources :)

  • What Do You Do with an Idea? by Yamada and Besom

  • Chandra's Magic Light by Heine and Guyfier

  • Mission to Space by Herrington

  • Becoming a Good Creature by Sy Montegomery

  • The Water Walker by Robertson; We are Water Protectors by Lindstrom and Goade

  • The Vast Wonder of the World: Biologist Earnest Everett Just by Mangal and Uribe

  • For you or older siblings (you could preread and choose a few pages to read together): October Sky by Homer Hickam - y'all...books are usually better than movies, but DANG the stories in the book are way more exciting than the ones in the movie.

Join us over on Patreon and let's watch wonder bloom!

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