Saturday, April 18, 2015

Fun and Adventures - science, parades, Easter, college, arboretum

Time to get caught up on Blog posts again.  :-)   I figured I'll start with the adventures we've been having and then tackle the big pile of school papers for the wrap-up.

NJ Makers Day

Back in March, New Jersey had it's first ever NJ Makers Day.  We decided to check out the activities at our favorite small local museum.  The kids were most fascinated by the 3D printers and the stuff they printed out...

George played around with a program called Scuptris that can be used to develop something to print out on a 3D printer (or just for fun)....

Vicki got really into exploring superhydrophobicity.  Basically water repellants.  The most fun was shooting the teenager wearing the treated t-shirt with water guns, but it was also lots of fun playing with treated sand (take your hand out of the water and it's completely dry)....
blowing water bubbles around on a cinder block.....

and checking out the natural hydrophobicity of plant leaves.

There were also robots, puzzles and all our regular favorites.  Vicki actually took the time to punch on of the song cards in the music room and thought the Star Wars theme was a beautiful song.

St. Patrick's Day

The kids went with Jen and her family into NYC for the St. Patrick's Day parade and a surprise trip to the M&M store.  M&M's are one of the very few types of candy George will eat.

Like a kid in a candy store.  :-D

Doesn't Vicki's hair look neat? I was shooting for a celtic knot type look.


I saw so many wonderful ideas on Pinterest about how to decorate Easter eggs.  Shaving cream, onion skins, natural dyes.  We ended up going with the old fashioned Paas cakes dropped in vinegar.  George did draw Terraria bosses on his eggs in crayon first - we wound up with the Eater of Worlds, Eye of Cthulhu, Skeletron, and King Slime.  Not sure it completely matches the spirit of the season.

We had our traditional Easter Egg hunt in the backyard.  It was actually a pretty nice day.  You can tell Vicki had already raided her Easter basket for a blue Ring Pop.

And my bi-annual (Easter and Christmas) nice picture of the three kids.

College for George

We recently looked into the Gifted and Talented program at our local university (the same one Steph attends actually) for George.   George qualified based on his most recent California Achievement Test done at home but we also decided to have him do the SAGE-2 test offered by the program.  He "passed" that test too, so we decided to let him try out a class.  He is taking a class called "Oops Accidental Discoveries".  It's a science course where they explore different discoveries that were originally intended to be other things - like silly putty, quinine, x-rays, insulin, corn flakes....

During the first class they learned about lab safety and the scientific method.  Subsequent classes they are learning about specific accidental discoveries and doing a demonstration.  They've made silly putty, tested tea bags and on Back to School Day, Vicki and I were able to join in the class to make play-doh.  Vicki had a LOT of fun kneading the dough, adding the food colored water (which also led to a long discussion of what kind of pranks could be played using food coloring).

Photo Scavenger Hunt at the Arboretum

We finally made it to the arboretum for one of their photo scavenger hunts.  Vicki used my phone to take pictures, George used my iPod to take video, while I used my camera to take pictures of them taking pictures.  :-)

We had to find: the four parts of a plant - flower, stem, leaf and root; the four things needed for life - air, water, sunlight and food; the state tree of NJ (red oak), flowering plant, non-flowering plant, a tree large enough to provide oxygen for our entire family, yellow witch hazel and orange witch hazel (those last two were hard).

For completing the hunt we won a hold that could be filled with ribbons and string to put out for the birds to use for their nests.

We finished up with a nice snack.

I'm hoping we have a lot more adventures this Spring and Summer.