Friday, 28 July 2017

Weekly wrap up 7/21/17 Lots of field trips this week

We had lots of activities this week!  We were up early, 7 am 4 days this week, that is very rare for us:)    A local group sponsored the Spokes math and science team and we joined in for two days of fun!  If you haven't heard of Spokes it is a team of students from MIT and Harvard who bike from Washington DC to San Francisco stopping along the way to hold Math and Science classes for kids.  You can explore this year's group and activities here.  Our local group sponsored them for four day, which means we put them up in a home and supplied all meals for four days and in return they gave one and half days of classes to our kids for free and they supply all the supplies for the classes!

Meeting the team and learning about the four stations they had plan for the kids.  The kids could pick one activity in the morning (about 3 hours) and another class in the afternoon (also for 3 hours)  the next day they could pick a third activity.

MarioFan choose to do the Math/critical thinking seminar.  the first activity was to figure out as a group how to untangle from the friend ship knot

there were several worksheets completed requiring the kids to think outside of the box
here they are working on geometry magic turning two paper circles into one large square.  If you want to do this at home there are several you tube videos online that explain how it is done!  

Next the kids played the game SET.  It was quite challenging and the kids were quite competitive.  MarioFan came in third place

While MarioFan was in his seminar, Firedrake decided to do the biology  session looking at optical illusions and dissecting a cow eyeball.

Learning why some saw a black and blue dress while others (including me) saw a gold and white dress

looking for the optic nerve and learning the parts of the eye
the student running the seminar were polite, knowlegable and very patient with the kids.  
finding the optic nerve

We did this activity a couple of years ago and I remember how hard it was for my kids to even touch the organs.  This time around Firedrake drove right in and love it:)

For the afternoon session the kids decided to to the same workshop--Physics, magnets and electricity

reviewing levers and since MarioFan just completed this last year I was please to see he remember most of the information so it was a review for him:)

Kids worked on building a catapult of their own design and they then played games to see who's catapult worked the best. Firedrake won one of the games and MarioFan won the other:)

Practicing with their catapult designs and getting ready for the games

Final design

MarioFan's version

Next the kids learned about electricity and did several experiments 

learning about magnets 

looking at a magnetic field using iron filings

playing with a compass and a magnet

Last activity was building a homopolar motor using strong magnets, a battery and cooper wires 

after several tries both kids were able to get theirs to work but not without a bit of frustration!:)  Again if you want to give this a try at home there are many you tube videos online :)
 The kids really enjoyed these seminars and our group is going to host another spokes team this time from Stanford in August.  We can't wait to see what activities they will come up with:)

Lastly we volunteered at the city food bank with yet another homeschool group.  I try to get the kids to volunteer throughout the year with many different activities.  We had the 9-12 shift and we worked very hard!

This food bank serve over 350,000 people per year and handles over 44 tons of food

The back warehouse

Getting our instructions and job assignments

We were assigned to fill Senior boxes for the month of July which included 15 items of food put in a box

Being shown how to pack a box to make sure everything fits ,  items included cereal, milk, vegetables, fruit, peanut butter, juice, can meat and noodles.  What goes in a box changes every month.

MarioFan was assigned to place the peanut butter into the box as it moves down a conveyor belt.

The box as it progresses down the line

end of  the line where boxes are taped and stack and placed in the warehouse to await pick up

Firedrake was assigned to help pick up cardboard boxes and tear them down and place them into a compactor.
It was hard work I must say and we were all tired by the end of our shift:)  We were told our group successfully packed 672 senior boxes which was over 9 tons of food:)   We hope we can sign up again to help out soon!

Friday, 21 July 2017

Weekly wrap Up 7/21/17 Herbert Hoover's home and museum

After visiting with family for several days we heard there was a Presidential home near by.  Herbert Hoover childhood home was about an hour away.  The kids needed a break from all the grown up talking and reminiscing so we headed out for the afternoon to visit another President home.  While I talked to the kids about this president it was mostly about the depression and his lack luster presidency.  We learned tons about this man and what he contributed before becoming President of the United States.  I sort of feel like I failed in delve further into his accomplishments with the children in our history lessons, but hopefully this trip filled in the many gaps:)  And I admit I have a greater respect for Herbert Hoover after this visit!

Herbert Hoover lived in this two room home for the first ten years of his life.  His father died when he was about six and his mother died about three years later.  After the death of both parents Herbert was separated from his brother and sister and sent to live with his Uncle in Oregon.  However Hoover always remember his childhood home and came back to visit regularly  

This is a very small home with the just the basics needs

the summer kitchen is at the back of the home.  During the winter months the stove is bought inside the home and use as a source of heat as there is no fireplace in the home.

under the back porch is a cellar door which was used for fruits and vegetables storage

outhouse as there is no running water in the home
His father owned and operated a black smith shop for many years.  Little Herbert remembers doing chores at his fathers shop

the property purchased for the hoover library and museum recreated the small town feel of the property by adding graveled roads and additional homes from that era.

A one room school house

inside the school room

Herbert Hoover's family were Quakers and on the property was a Quaker church  Women and men were sat separately and there are wooden window blinds that can be raised or lower during the prayer sessions as needed
outside the prayer rooms is the cry room for children 

Inside the cry room

While working to the museum and library we found an Isis statue which was present to Herbert Hoover by the Belgium government.  We were very confused by this gift at first but the museum does explain the reason for the gift 

While Herbert Hoover went to Stanford university.  At the age of 23 he read  an ad for a job in Australia, which advertised for a 30 yr old to help run a mining business.  Hoover bought a tweed suit, grew out his facial hair to pass as a 30 yr old and got the job.  He had great success finding gold in Australia and won the respect of the men who work in the mines.

His next job was in China and he arrived approximately 6 months before the Boxer rebellion.  He and his wife had to man cannons and he said he was so happy to hear the music of the arriving Americans to rescue the Westerners in the province.

After World War I Herbert hoover gave up his mining jobs and entered in to the political field for the first time.  he organize food relief for Europe, particularly Belgium, hence the statue found on the grounds.  After WWWII he again organized food relief and had great success.  

the China used at the White house during his Presidency 

Some of his wife's clothing of the time period

recreated living room in one of his other homes

death mask--the dark lines are shadows from the case

Herber Hoover and his wife are buried on these grounds as he always considered Iowa his home and where his roots laid 
My kids and I discussed after visiting why we thought Hoover did not have much success during the depression considering he had great success helping Europe after both World Wars.  We figured it had a lot to do with Congress and the way the government in the US functioned at the time.  But we are going to investigate this further and see if we can better understand the juxapostion of the man and his success and failures.