Thanks to our librarian Mary Tiebout, 5th-9th graders were able to participate in the enrichment series. Fifth through seventh graders had the choice to attend two different programs. On one day the Children's Museum of West Hartford brought live animals for a presentation on Animal Adaptations and on another day the Ecotarium presented a program on Launching Rockets, where the students created their own rockets. Kate from the Children's Museum of West Hartford introduced the students to "Bobby" the box turtle, "Aaron" the rat snake, "Pat" the chinchilla, and "Mr. Scarlet" the red tegu lizard. Students heard about their natural habitats, diets, and they were also able to gently pet each of them. It was wonderful to see their delighted faces when Kate brought the animals around and great to listen to their intelligent questions about each animal.
On another day, they had a great workshop building paper rockets in the gym Divided up into pairs, each team had a short period of time to construct a paper rocket. Once completed the teams launched them on an air compressor that shot them across the gym. Cheers of delighted ricocheted around the gym when they saw the distance some of them achieved. Students discussed the elements that contributed to a successful launch including the shape of the nose cone and the successful sealing of the air holes.
Yesterday, the third program in the series took place, this time offered to eighth and ninth graders. The Mystic Aquarium brought their coolers filled with squids for dissection. Again in pairs, students learned that squids are part of the mollusk family and they have both tentacles and arms. While many were certainly squeamish, they all clearly enjoyed the experience as they followed instructions to dissect correctly.
Thank you to the Children's Museum of West Hartford, the Ecotarium, and Mystic Aquarium for bringing your programs on campus.