Wednesday, May 30, 2012


Students release a newly banded bird as part of the Smithsonian's Urban Nest Watch Program. Look closely! The bird is in the middle of the picture! Stations like these made our event AMAZING!

Thank you to the many, many families who came out to Maury's First Annual Science and Think Tank Expo last night. As an educator, it was truly amazing to see so many families learning, exploring and having so much fun together. Last night is yet another reminder of why I do what I do. Thank you for your ongoing support of Think Tank and Science at Maury. 

Families check in at the Welcome Table
 A special thanks is also owed to our amazing exhibitors and donors to our event! Our partners made this event truly unique by adding a level of expertise. Click on their names for more detailed information about these amazing partners! Living Classrooms of the National Capitol Region, Anacostia Watershed Society, National Science Teacher's Association, DC WASA, Smithsonian Urban Nest Watch, DC Department of the Environment:Fisheries and Wildlife, The Optical Society of America,  the National Environmental Education Foundation: Be Water Wise DC and wonderful, local game and puzzle store Labyrinth.( Phew! We have so many supporters!!!)  

DC Beekeeper Toni Burnham shares a portion of her hive with students.

In addition, we had a variety of other volunteers who brought their passion for science and career knowledge to our students. Toni Burnham from DC Beekeepers, future Maury parent Subrat Biswal with his laser-sound- optics activity and Navy Satellite Electrical Engineer Erik Donald added incredible depth to our event.

"Let's go there, Dad!"
Please consider sending our volunteers and related organization an email if you found their portion particularly exciting!  

One final and humble THANK YOU to my many, many parent, grandparent and family volunteers. From running the welcome table, to leading inquiry-based ( and often frustrating Keva and Geoblock block) stations, you kept the night running ( as I was literally running from station to station). Maury families ROCK!

Ali Koide from Living Classrooms shares her expertise.
As you surf through the many pictures below ( thanks to Maury supporter and super-Aunt Elizabeth Nelson) I hope you lose yourself in them and in the joy our children are experiencing WHILE LEARNING! 

If you were unable to join us, please virtually travel through our stations here! As  I receive more pictures from families, they will be added!

What are YOUR Smarts? Parent volunteers led this station where visitors could determine their multiple intelligences.  While all students made Smart-Tags at the beginning of the year, this was the chance for them to help their parents discover the many ways they are SMART!

Kindergartners make their Smart-Tags with Maury dad, Dinkar Mokadam.
Kindergartner Mia proudly wears her Smart-Tag from exhibit to exhibit.
"What are YOUR Smarts?"

Ms. Conley helps parents and students determine what characteristics their thumbprints have.

Mom and daughter compare thumbprints.

A mom and child classify animal tracks based on their characteristics.

                         LEGO "SPINNING TOP" CHALLENGE

As part of our Lego Simple Machine unit, students already explored some physical science concepts  in the classroom. However, this challenge was new to them. It was fascinating to see so many students explaining to the adults how to complete the challenge. Well done scholars!
Beginning the challenge.
Celebrating success!
Adding to the challenge by creating their own design.
Even Spiderman ( PreK version) gets in on the action!

How lucky are we to have this store in our neighborhood... and now part of the Maury family! 
Exploring balance with Keva Blocks.

ChickyBoom- a great game of balance and weights.
A game accessible to all ages!

Building ramps and exploring the solar system through a game.

RaceSpace Solar System game.

Working with owner Kathleen Donahue to play the solar system game.
Each of these stations provided students with opportunity to explore physical science concepts related to balance and motion. In addition, students had the chance to use their "picture smarts" to model 3-D images in fun inquiry-based learning games Architecto and Equilibrio.
Ms. Hunt leads a challenge with the Impossible Spiral.

Architecto and Equlibrio as well as ramp building challenge students spatial skills.

Working as a family to build a contraption and ramp with a tunnel.

Spiderman is everywhere!

Pennies! Craft Sticks! Paper Towel Roll! Can we make a seesaw that balances?


Smithsonian Urban Nest Watch set up nets on our grounds to catch birds, identify, band and set them free. DC Department of Environment Ornithologist Dan Rauch worked with students to explore the world of birds in DC. It was hot outside, but that didn't stop students from heading outside to participate in these super cool stations!

Dan Rauch from DDoE discusses the use of binoculars with PreK student.

Urban Nest Watch educator takes questions from fascinated students.
Urban Nest Watch educator listens intently to student questions.
Look closely. They caught a bird and are banding it for release!

What's your wingspan??

These stations were led by experts in a number of areas. More pictures are coming ( especially of our optics demonstration) so stay tuned. You may notice students in other pictures with what looks like straws in their mouths. That was local honey!
Where is the queen? DC Beekeeper Toni Burnham looks for her.
The expressions on their faces says it all:).

Tracing our watershed with AWS Educator Ariel Trahan.
"Our watershed is that big?"

Erik Donald builds real satellites! Students touch, lift and explore satellite building materials

Students getting excited to touch the materials!
Origami was one of students favorite Think Tank units this year. Origami provides students with so many opporutnities to practice their Habits of Mind. Thanks to a wonderful Kindergarten Grandmother for helping lead this station and show students amazing new folds!
Learning new folds from a true expert.
5th Grade self-proclaimed Origami loves came to the Expo explicitly for this station.

As you can see, we had an amazing evening of learning at Maury. As more pictures show up in my inbox, I'll be sure to add them here. Thank you again to everyone! 

Until next time...
-Mrs. Ford


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