Not sure if it was me, the lab coat, the goggles kids got to wear or the Flubber they made, but kids today thought this was the best day of their camp!
Once again this summer, time to step outside my comfort zone and work with elementary kids.
I wanted to see if a group of 4th grade kids could follow the directions to make the polymer portion of the lesson plan. I asked the camp director the other day if we could try the experiment and he told me Thursday morning. I must have looked like Young Frankenstein as I rolled up with a cart filled with goggles, beakers, conical tubes, mixing rods, colored liquids and gloves.
For the next 40 minutes, we talked about polymers. How they are made and what they are used for. I kept using the ‘big words’ and they stayed captivated and tried to figure them out before I gave the answers.
Kids went home with a better understanding of how polymers are made, why we need them and tubes of flubber.
This teacher came away today with a vetted set of instructions, a few new ideas how to streamline the activity and a deep appreciation for elementary teachers.
I have stepped so far outside my comfort zone this summer, I am not sure where that begins and ends any more. Working with organic chemistry. Middle school lesson plans. Being the oldest person in the entire lab. Working with elementary school kids. Perhaps it is best to say, my comfort zone acts like the cross linked polymers: I just needed something to bond two areas of comfort, stretch me and make my zone larger.
Maybe I have become Flubber?