Sunday, June 25, 2017

Photos from the Second Week of Camp... and the EXPO!

Click on any photo to enlarge it.

Dr. Scott sent us photos of our Petri dishes of incubated skin bacteria which we then added to our calendars.  My bacteria colony is that little white dot to the bottom right of my name.  It is tiny because I washed my hands, which is not true of all of our campers... 

drawing trilobites on the window with window crayons

the amazing trilobite photo in LIFE: A Journey through Time

using long pieces of butcher paper (handy leftover packing material from the rock & mineral collection) for our Carboniferous Period mural

oil pastels were perfect for adding rich color

stenciling gesso on tan paper to see the details of the ginkgo leaves... then taking a walk around our neighborhood to find a living ginkgo tree

solving the Pangea puzzle! (PDF)

our new box arrives...

looking eagerly at all the leaves

and the key to help us arrange it correctly

setting up the Carboniferous Period mural in a corner of the living room

I am so excited to see the fern forests come to life 
(the Carboniferous Period is my personal favorite)

drawing the wings for our enormous dragonfly!

soaking beans to see if they are really seeds...

making dried bean mandalas for the evolution of Flowering Plants in the Cretaceous Period

the finished Layers of the Earth rug

weaving scraps of quilting fabric in with our finger knitting added a lot of dimensionality

after reading When Cave Men Painted, we did some cave art on cork

changing a circle graph...

into a bar graph, inspired by Becca's Botany MLB from last school year.
The purple line is the 235,000 species of modern-day flowering plants, compared to the number of species of conifers, mosses, and ferns.  It was a clear evolution success story!

working on a poster for the dinosaur displays

adding the pipe cleaner feet to our 75 cm wingspan Carboniferous dragonfly, after painting it all over with Mod Podge Sparkle

needle felting some finishing swirls onto our wet felted geodes

we're getting ready for the Expo!

we had a Timeline of Life handout for each guest

the children felted extra geodes so that each family got to cut one and reveal the hidden colors

the first visitor arrives

more soon follow

 leading family and friends through the classification bracelet activity was one of the children's absolute favorite things to do

visitors are greeted with this sign on the front door
everything (before it was anything)

and then pass through the black curtains into the birth of the Universe

a few artifacts on the half wall

surface tension brings star confetti together into clumps

the candle was lit

welcome to From Lava to Life!

microbe pictures from Yellowstone National Park

and some needle felted microbes

we also had our yeast balloon demonstration st up by the Precambrian poster, as an example of a simple single-celled fungus

the Layers of the Earth (and the accompanying illustration from
How to Dig a Hole to the Other Side of the World)

colorful signs alerted visitors to Fun Facts for each time period (did you know that scientists now think the first animals were comb jellies?)

the beautiful array of geodes

celebrating the Age of Trilobites

a long display with all of our books and accompanying fossils

organizing all the books with a letter of the alphabet on the back, in order, and identifying the accompanying fossils with the same letter helps us to keep things straight if they get jumbled

the "how fossils are made" display

beside this poster we had our celery experiment:  clear water, red water, blue water

our chalkboard drawing with the aluminum foil fish turned out to be amazing

a quick stop by the Tree of Life

and everyone had to go through the bracelet classification activity

coal and Tully monsters (the Illinois state fossil) for the Carboniferous

"Joe" the dragonfly

the Permian Period ended with the greatest mass extinction of all time... 90% of species thought to be wiped out

downstairs displays included the "How Dinosaurs Shrank and Became Birds" info, the flowering plants poster and graph for the Cretaceous, the This Dynamic Planet map, and the Pangea Puzzle

tracing paper skulls take us through the Early Humans timeline

and these jars of rice placed by the skulls show the increasing mental capacity of hominids, as they evolved to have larger and larger brains

we also had a family sit down together and play the "Hunter-Gatherers Simulation Game" from our Early Humans book

a rainbow silk display provides a place for parents to stop and look at some of the books which we read

and see our awesome cave art (charcoal and chalk pastel on butcher paper)

the two outdoor exhibits:  the Dino Dig... 

(tree branches arranged as a dinosaur "skeleton" in the yard)

... and the gigantic ball of finger knitting (37 meters long) which families took with them and unrolled outside to see the staggering length of the Titanosaur

This was one of my favorite ideas (and also a big hit with the kids).  

I had hoped to include some display which would show the enormous length of the herbivores.  At first, I planned to choose a dinosaur and then have us finger knit a string the appropriate length.  But I quickly realized that this would put a lot of stress on the kids (plus, it would be a pain to constantly stop and measure it).  Instead we finger knitted as long as long as we wanted to, then measured the ball by wrapping the yarn around a meter stick, and then Googled the length to find a dinosaur which was a match. And, happily, the Titanosaur was a perfect fit. I am in love with this dramatic family-friendly hands-on activity, with its big reveal!!!

Last, but not least, the food. We had (in order of evolution)

    water to drink,
    rice krispie treat sponges,
    strawberry fish,
    cheese/cracker/veggie insects,
    and blueberry/banana dolphins.

I hope you enjoyed your virtual tour of our Expo. We had a GREAT time putting it together!

Thanks to all of my campers and their families, to everyone who donated art supplies and craft materials, and to Jessica for her many hours of amazing help and her cheerfulness & creativity throughout!  And NOW I'm heading off on my summer vacation!

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