Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Rutgers Day

On Saturday, we went to Rutgers Day.
Some professors at Rutgers, offer the option of Rutgers Day as the Final Exam grade for their class.
Students are required to set up a table,
create games & props
and to teach children about one aspect of what the student learned in the class.
These are not necessarily education majors,
this runs the full gamut from anthropology to zoology.
It is an AWESOME opportunity for Rutgers students as well as students of all ages!

We spent the day on Cook-Douglass.
Cook is the College of Environmental and Biological Sciences.
The students did an awesome job of showing the girls the damages done to our ocean.
Students designed a Jenga game where each layer was colored to represent a different layer of the ocean.
Children picked cards,
each card said something about pollution or overfishing
and had the child pull a block or two from the Jenga stack.
After a few cards, a few blocks were pulled and the tower fell.
Wonderfully illustrating the damages done to our oceans.

There were explanations of overfishing.
Explanations of Food Webs and how when one fish is over-fished it has an effect on all of the sea life that eats that fish.
Or when one sea plant is destroyed due to pollution, that effects the rest of the sea life that relies on that plant.

Professors are there monitoring their students.
Additionally, parents (or, in our case, A) was asked to fill out a survey on how they felt each student did in explaining their topic.

When you are 9 & 11 there is no one cooler than college kids-
so who better to learn from?
The girls got a lot out of it.

They were given Junior Oceanographer certificates.

Then we headed over to another field for lunch.
The New Jersey folk festival was going on there:

This is my lunch: falafel, hummus, taboule :)  YUM!!

The hubs went for the other extreme: the Jamaican sampler: mostly meat. lol.

After enjoying some tunes in the sun, 
we headed back over to 
the Ag Field.
I found the carbon dioxide experiments fascinating.
First, they asked if the kids knew what CO2 was.
Then they passed out pictures: a bike, a smokestack, someone smoking a cigarette, a car with exhaust coming out, etc.
They asked the kids to tell them which things were harmful to the environment.
They explained about CO2 in large concentrated doses.
Then, they gave the kids clear plastic cups with water.
They added blue dye,
beautiful, like the ocean, right?
 Then they added vinegar, which acted as an acid (harmful to the environment).
Then, they had them blow up balloons,
put a straw in the balloon and have the air come out into the cup.
The kids loved the bubbles.
But it turned the water GREEN...and then YELLOW!

The girls came away feeling even more invested in protecting the environment :)

After that, we learned about bugs.
We learned all about mosquito larvae.
And dog ticks & deer ticks :)

We watched cockroach races:

We saw this guy:

This crazy guy wanted to hold the guy above!!

P and I played some frisbee.
Pretty cool playing frisbee with your kid on the campus of your alma mater.

We learned about a super-cool Permaculture project that we were invited to take part in.
Cook students were given a grant to make the gardens across from one of the hospitals
a sustaining garden.  Residents are encouraged to volunteer.  We'll grow organic vegetables.
We will be entitled to a share of the harvest commensurate to how much work we put in.
We asked if the girls could help, too!
The students thought homeschooling was cool.
They said most definitely the girls could help!
We signed up!!

The girls got their faces painted:

It was a truly awesome day!!

We learned about many cool things,
like how they are learning to use plants instead of plastics to make bottles