Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Fire Hall

We learned some great history of old town Penticton and how they used to have to call the fire brigade. I'm sure they lost a lot of homes back then!

Liam trying to get the jacket on that was way too big!
Teigan, getting a little help from a friend.
This trip was really neat because they showed us (and let us try) the oxygen that they use when they are in fires. They also explained how their suits work to keep them cool (er) even though a fire can be above 400 degrees!
Samuel and I got to try on the entire suits and gear. It is actually much heavier than I realized, and not very easy to walk in. Of course it may have been easier if the gear actually fit me!
Teigan was too little to try the gear on, but she was pretty happy in the hat.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Elecrical Engineering!

One of the dads (an electrical engineer) did a great morning of circuits and batteries, solar power, potatoes... fantastic time! Here the kids are completing circuits and using batteries for power.

YES! This really did work - it lit up a small light bulb. The potato became an electrochemical battery - by using copper pennies and the nails, the reaction was enough to light the bulb. Apparently it works even better with lemons.
When everything was done and everyone else went out to play...
and then when even that was done... Samuel spent at least an hour on his own and actually connected all three circuit boards and made every light and fan work at the same time!
Two scientists engrossed in activity!
Once Liam was done with the circuits he set to fixing broken toys.


The boys have both enjoyed karate this year. Here they are after karate showing a few of their moves!

Teigan's Birthday

The boys of course got up early and made Teigan a special breakfast...

She had to be blindfolded and led to her seat...
And who wouldn't be thrilled with such a special start to the day done by your brothers?!
We went swimming with a bunch of the little girl friends.

Mama came over the next day to help sew and quilt with us.

Learning Circle beach afternoon - fire building

While this does look dangerous, I assure you it was supervised! The boys were actually doing very thought out experiments as to what materials caught fire quickly, what burned well, and what burned out quickly. This was somewhat to the chagrin of some of the ah, less experimentive moms. (The moms involved were right there.)

You've gotta love the Okanagan; at the beach in November.
There's a serious learning circle...
Teigan was heating up her own little hot chocolate over the fire.
Samuel and his friend had made the first fire for everyone, so Liam and his buddy asked if they could try their hand at being the campfire starters. So we moved down to the next fire pit and let them have a go at it. While there was a lot of smoke to start with, they did get a beautiful fire going.

Science World comes to us!

Samuel enjoyed this demonstration - everyone thought he was SO brave - but he has done this experiment at home and knew that the pressure would hold the lid on!

This was fun to watch as they showed us how things expand when there is little oxygen - like in space!
This reacted to the CO2 in the science guy's breath. The other didn't change colour since it wasn't CO2.
More fun experiments. It's always so much fun when things involve flaming fire balls!
Science is always so much fun!

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Capilano Suspension Bridge and the Treetop Adventures

What a fabulous day we had at a very old, but redone adventure...

The bridge - originally built in 1888, was great fun. But the Treetop Adventures was wonderful.
Samuel counting the rings to find out how old this tree was when they cut it down.
Teigan enjoying one of the 15 bridges that run through the Coastal Rain Forest canopy from one "fort" to another.
The crew on another of the 15 bridges, far above the forest floor.
It's good to have a big brother.
Figuring out the circumference of one of the big trees. We estimated, based on our height (and therefore arm span) that this tree was about 14 ft. around.
Samuel was the official board reader, and took his job very seriously. Here he is reading about a healthy pond.
We of course found math everywhere! This spot we had to stop and talk about the cool spiderweb pattern that the builders would have had to figure out with angles. Perfect example of 45, 90, 180, and 360. (And everything else in between, but those were the ones we focused on.)
Smelling the needles from the giant hemlock tree, which we learned got its name because it smells like the poisonous weed that killed Socrates!
Exploring (but not eating!) the rain forest floor...
and the rain forest canopy!
A really wonderful time. We ended up with a season pass!

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Pumpkin Math

This was a great morning of fun with math - and about 30 other home learners. (+Moms!)

Liam and his group weighing their pumpkin, after guessing the weight, and then estimating (after picking up some items of 5 lbs and 10 lbs).

A table of friends using non standard measurements (unifix cubes) to measure the height of their pumpkin.
Another table measuring the height with standard measurements.
Counting seeds into groups of 10 and then 100s.
Getting that top off!
Liam and Teigan getting deep down, goopy and dirty!
We had booklets where we recorded all of our estimates, measurements, graphs and everything else.
Of course one of the amazing moms made pumpkin muffins which everyone enjoyed while we talked about the graphs.
Who had a fun with math today?!
The top of the tarp showing the groups and their pumpkin seeds by 100, 10, and 1s.
A few of the graphs...