My science club studied airplanes last week. We talked about air pressure and how airplanes are able to fly, then it was time to try some science. I gave each table a stack of paper, a handful of books about how to make paper airplanes, and some questions, like "How does a long, skinny airplane fly differently from a short, fat one?" and "What could you do to your airplane to make it spin as it flies?"
In order to control the chaos, I designated three locations for throwing airplanes. Two of them involved hula hoops which I had hung from the ceiling. The hoops gave the children specific targets to aim for, thus reducing a bit of the "random airplanes flying everywhere" that had been haunting my nightmares for the past week. I also suggested that the hallway would be a good place to fly airplanes, especially for children who wanted to test their plane on distance or wanted to race a plane against another plane. For this area, I gave the children a few common-sense rules: 1) Do not throw your plan if a person is in the hallway. 2) Let the kid who threw first go pick up his plane before you throw your plane. I explained that we don't want to hit people with our planes, but I wanted them to still be able to fly them. I've found that kids generally do well when rules are reasonable and explained, so we didn't have any problems with planes running into humans in the library.
|The child with the green airplanes is "patiently" waiting for the hallway to clear.|
This was another program, like last week's LEGO adventures, that lasted much longer than expected. Kids made several plans and tested them against each other or against planes their friends had made. Many of the display books and instruction books I had at the program were checked out. Happy kids with happy parents exited the library, excited that next week they could come back and try something new.
|My interns held the hoop steady to help the kids.|