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We had three amazing college students work with us to deliver the Girls in Science Camp at Green Street and serve as role models for the campers. This year, those young women were Josephine Ho, Mackenzie Schlosser, and Victoria Barr. In this six-part series, they share their experiences and favorite moments of the week.

Girls in Science Camp Reflection – “Light it Up! Learning About Circuitry”

by Victoria Barr

Girls in Science_2On Thursday during the Girls in Science Camp, I helped Dr. Candice Etson teach our campers how to build their own circuits using breadboards and lights. First we showed them how to wire a light bulb to a pack with two D batteries; once they understood how their breadboards worked, we let them play with LEDs. We gave the girls six LEDs of different colors as well as one multi-colored LED, which they could wire differently to create up to eight colors. Dr. Etson also asked them to measure the voltages across and currents running through both types of lights—these results helped them to understand how LEDs are more energy-efficient than traditional light bulbs.

Girls in ScienceAlthough electronics can be a very challenging topic for anyone, the girls showed great understanding of and enthusiasm for circuitry. One requirement for this part of the day was that everyone stay extra quiet and attentive since electronics can be dangerous when handled incorrectly, but the girls were the most focused they had been all week! Watching them all experiment individually was extremely satisfying, especially when one camper figured out how to expand the number of LEDs she could hook up by wiring one part of the breadboard to another.

We had three amazing college students work with us to deliver the Girls in Science Camp at Green Street and serve as role models for the campers. This year, those young women were Josephine Ho, Mackenzie Schlosser, and Victoria Barr. In this six-part series, they share their experiences and favorite moments of the week.

Girls in Science Camp Reflection – “Measurement & Bacteria Activities”

by Mackenzie Schlosser

Girls in ScienceI was Dr. Erika Taylor’s assistant for the camp, and we focused on learning about measurement and cells. The first set of activities we did served to get the girls acquainted with the metric system and the ways in which we measure temperature, volume, length, and weight. For temperature, the girls learned to make hypotheses and read a thermometer for containers or water, ice, hot water, and dry ice water. We measured the length of the hallway in made up units like notebook lengths or the heights of individual campers, then calculated the final length in centimeters. Being able to give scale to and calculate the things we study is important and it helped the girls think more scientifically.

Girls in Science_2Once we learned how teeny tiny bacteria were, we moved on to where and how they grow. This activity was fun. Everyone got a few petri dishes of media and got to swab anything they wanted so they could make hypotheses about how much bacteria would grow. I picked my shoes, bathroom scale, phone, keys, and watch. The girls picked things like grapes, the toilet, the floors, and a tree. After letting them grow overnight, we got to see which cultures were largest. It was great to give them a taste of what we study and show how bacteria are everywhere.

During the month of October, we will be host the exhibit, Two Sisters: Woven Together with Photographs and Quilts.  Two sisters, Roslyn N. Carrier-Brault, fine art photographer, Middletown, CT and Jan N. Unghire, Quilter, Sweet Pea Quilts, Ivoryton, CT, will share in an artistic collaboration featuring the disparate yet intertwined media within which they each work.   The exhibit will run from October 6th through 27th with an opening reception on Thursday, October 6, 2016 from 6-8 p.m.

R_C_Brault_Out on the Limb_26x34_digital collage J_Unghire_Painted Quilt w_Assorted Panels_64x57ink on quilted cotton

 

The gallery is located at 51 Green Street and is open to the public from 9a.m. to 3p.m. on Mondays through Fridays.

 

 

We had three amazing college students work with us to deliver the Girls in Science Camp at Green Street and serve as role models for the campers. This year, those young women were Josephine Ho, Mackenzie Schlosser, and Victoria Barr. In this six-part series, they share their experiences and favorite moments of the week.

Girls in Science Camp Reflection – “Young People Have a Lot to Offer”

by Mackenzie Schlosser

Girls in Science_1I haven’t spent much time teaching girls this age, so I was initially a little nervous for how the week would go. I’ve done chemistry demonstrations for high schoolers, and we’ve always been conscious of the level of science education they had so that we would pick experiments that wouldn’t go over their heads. For the girls in science camp, we discussed so many exciting and advanced topics. We talked about DNA, nanoparticles, light, and many other things that I didn’t learn until at least middle school or high school.

I wasn’t necessarily surprised, but it was a fun experiment for me to see how quickly they all learned what we were teaching. I think this is a good lesson for everyone. Just because people are young, doesn’t mean they aren’t highly capable. Many adults try to dumb things down for younger people and think they’re immature. Working with all these really clever girls proved to me how important it is to challenge young people and hold them to high standards. More often than you’d think, they can meet and exceed your expectations.

Girls in Science_2

We had three amazing college students work with us to deliver the Girls in Science Camp at Green Street and serve as role models for the campers. This year, those young women were Josephine Ho, Mackenzie Schlosser, and Victoria Barr. In this six-part series, they share their experiences and favorite moments of the week.

Girls in Science Camp Reflection – “Learning from Unexpected Results”

by Josephine Ho

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One of the first words that was introduced to the campers was “hypothesis”. The emphasis on making a hypothesis was notable throughout the camp. Instead of being spoon-fed information, the campers were encouraged to discover science in a very real way.

The camp did not only allow them to discover science in a memorable way but it also helped them develop a sense of curiosity, which could eventually turn into a love of learning. I was happy to see that the girls were encouraged to make mistakes and to understand that science isn’t always perfect. When the campers did not get any DNA from their DNA extraction session, without prompting, they came up with possible reasons why the extraction did not work for them. It was reassuring that they understand from a very young age that a hypothesis could be wrong and that scientific experiments do not always produce the results that we desire.

What matters the most is that we learn something from those experiments.

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We had three amazing college students work with us to deliver the Girls in Science Camp at Green Street and serve as role models for the campers. This year, those young women were Josephine Ho, Mackenzie Schlosser, and Victoria Barr. In this six-part series, they share their experiences and favorite moments of the week.

Girls in Science Camp Reflection – “Helping Each Other Learn”

by Josephine Ho

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The campers from this year consisted of girls from different grades (4, 5, and 6). Naturally, some of them were more advanced than others. This gap created an opportunity for older girls to help younger ones learn.

As a teaching assistant, I was delighted to have a glimpse into the thought process of the campers as they explained difficult concepts to each other. It was a wonderful experience both for me and the campers who were on the receiving end of the teaching. More importantly, it was a great way to know if the campers have grasped the topic at hand.

An activity that deliberately encouraged teaching and learning among campers was the Taboo-like review game that we played on the last day. The campers were split into two teams. Each team sent one representative who had to guess a word from the vocabulary that we learned throughout the week. The rest of the team members were in charge of helping their reps guess the word by explaining the word with scientific facts; no clues on the component of the word was allowed.

Although we did not manage to go through a lot of words, the session was an eye-opener for me. I saw how certain concepts could be explained simply with a 6th grade vocabulary.

 

It’s almost time for Discovery AfterSchool and we have Liberty Bank to thank for our scholarship pool this year. The Green Street Teaching and Learning Center of Wesleyan University was awarded $3,000 for the 2016-2017 school year to support our AfterSchool students. Liberty Bank is a long-time supporter of Green Street and we appreciate their continued support every year!

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If you’re interested in signing your child up for Discovery AfterSchool classes, our fall semester registration is open and we have many fun classes in art, math, and science. Classes start the week of September 12, 2016. Call us to set up an appointment or fill out the application materials online and send in to us.

During the month of September, we will be displaying the work of Litchfield artist Suzan Scott.

graphite and gouache on Yupo paper, 7 x 10 inches, 2014

graphite and gouache on Yupo paper, 7 x 10 inches, 2014

Both a constant observer and interpreter of the natural world, Scott’s artwork represents the poetic intersection of her interests in art and science.  Reflecting back over her creation of this series entitled nightwatch, Scott remarks:  “As daylight fails, our world changes; the things we know to ‘be’ withdraw; colors fade, shapes merge, edges blur, sky slips into dusky ‘not quite black’ hues, and stars, invisible by day, pierce the dark. A parallel world emerges, one that is vast and deep, mysterious and primal, set in darkness –  the world at night.”

Scott’s alluring and magical nighttime interpretations  of this “parallel world” of the dark will be on exhibit from Sept. 1-28 with an  opening reception on Thursday, September 1 from 5-7p.m.  The gallery is located at 51 Green Street and is open accessible to the public from 9a.m. to 3p.m. on Mondays through Fridays.

 

Chenoa “Dakota” Summer was a Middlesex Community College intern last semester and we asked her to share some of her experience with us. It has been wonderful watching her grow and learn more about working with kids in our Discovery AfterSchool Program. Here is her final guest blog.

If you’re interested in signing your child up for Discovery AfterSchool classes, our fall semester registration is open and we have many fun classes in art, math, and science. Classes start the week of September 12, 2016. Call us to set up an appointment or fill out the application materials online and send in to us.

Looking At Myself After Green Street

The first day I started at Green Street, I was out of my element. There was usual commotion that came from being the first day of the semester and also a half day schedule. However, I felt a bit terrified in this new environment and I went home that first day exhausted and overwhelmed. I remember thinking that this might not be the right kind of internship for me. I even went to my advisor to express my doubts. She told me to stick with it for a few weeks and to talk about how I was feeling with my supervisors and the staff. If it still was not the right fit, we would work something else out. Luckily, after that first day, and the first week, things improved and I took away three important lessons.

One, I quickly learned that I distanced myself from the kids because I didn’t know how to work with them. I would stand on the perimeter in class and think that the kids hated me because they didn’t want to listen to what I had to say. It wasn’t until later when I realized the reason that they didn’t take me seriously was because I wasn’t on their level physically and wasn’t participating with them. Once I starting participating with them in class they grew to see me as a friendly authority figure. To maintain that respect, I found that being consistent but also kind and good-humored was very important in working with children.

Two, I learned that I have a lot more endurance than I thought I did. At the end of the first week, I was completely exhausted. As the weeks progressed, I would still be tired by the end of the week but I would give all I had each day and it paid off. Despite juggling five classes and the internship, I was still taking initiative and would follow up with my supervisors if I had questions or concerns. In fact, I learned a lot about the kids from asking my supervisors how to address behavior and also how to reach them better.

And three, the last thing I learned was how quickly I could grow despite being at this internship for only a matter of weeks. This growth was more apparent to those around me then it was to myself until the end of the semester. This was evident when I was presented with the award of “Most Valuable Player of the Green Street AfterSchool Staff.” To my utter surprise, every single kid in the room clapped for me, even the ones who I thought didn’t like me much. And it wasn’t just any regular old clap; it was an extended round of applause! This specific moment, among others, at Green Street’s Discovery AfterSchool Program will always stick with me.

Chenoa was a Middlesex Community College intern last semester and we asked her to share some of her experience with us. It has been wonderful watching her grow and learn more about working with kids in our Discovery AfterSchool Program. Here is her second guest blog.

If you’re interested in signing your child up for Discovery AfterSchool classes, our fall semester registration is open and we have many fun classes in art, math, and science. Classes start the week of September 12, 2016. Call us to set up an appointment or fill out the application materials online and send in to us.

Learning From Others

At Green Street. I was assigned to three different classes based on my interests in music and art – African Drumming with Mr. Peter, 3D Art and Math with Ms. Renee and Sing From the Heart with Ms. Liz. What I learned from working with these instructors will help me work better with children and also with people in general in any service field.

PatienceAfrican Drumming is a popular, inherently loud, class hosting a wide range of students with differing interests, abilities, and energy levels. Mr. Peter, had a huge amount of patience. No matter how long it would take, Mr. Peter would wait until every single person was paying attention. He would also ask me for my input, which was awesome because I got to help create a positive learning environment and it boosted my own confidence.

Confidence – In 3D Art and Math, I would watch the different projects the kids were working on like working popsicle stick Ferris wheels or cereal box castles. Sometimes I’d try to help a student who wanted Ms. Renee to help them instead of me. Ms. Renee would tell them that if I was trying to help them, that I deserved the same respect they gave to her. That boosted my own confidence and also helped set the stage for how I could assist the kids with future projects.

Fairness Sing From the Heart was on Fridays and we all know the end of the week is tough as we wait for the weekend. Ms. Liz was really good at creating a fair classroom. What I mean by this is that if there were kids who weren’t listening, they wouldn’t get to have the things that they wanted (like solos). But those who were behaving did get those prized parts. This taught the kids that they can’t always get everything that they want, and I think that’s an important lesson to learn. It also helped them learn to work as a group so everyone could succeed. Some students who wanted to sing felt inhibited because they didn’t have the confidence like the popular kids to perform in front of everybody. If I noticed this during a class, Ms. Liz and I as a team, would try to boost the child’s confidence and eventually they had their moment where everybody clapped for them.

By working with these teaching artists, I was able to build my patience, confidence, creativity, and also my ability of being able to judge what was fair for the situation at hand. These additions to my professional tool belt will help me on my journey of helping others. Most importantly, I think that the kids learned some of these things too and that is a reminder that we have things to learn from every experience, if we look for them.

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