Last week, we tried something rather different. We started talking about social inquiry and the Blue group, which are the 11 year olds, questioned things that were going on in their communities. I was impressed at the culture they have already been exposed to at such a young age. The questions they were curious about were:
Why do the gangs create so many wars?
What problems exist in life?
Why is there so much violence?
How do we acheive peace?
Learn about drug addiction, alcoholism, hunting animals, organ trafficking
While most of the questions are rather direct, I felt that there was a deeper curiosity when they asked "what problems exist in life?" Since our participants have already gone through so much with there displacement experience, I wonder if they were really asking what are the problems people experience? That is, if everyone went through the same turmoil as they have. After witnessing this, I am confident that all of our TdP participants have the potential to become beneficial leaders. I see in them this unsatiated compassion and I feel if given the tools they need, it's like giving them a magical wand to ameliorate our communities. Word.
Time just seems ephemeral in Taller de Paz! I mean, we've reached the end of the 2nd week, and we'll soon be working on our final project! This weeks has been a lot of fun in the Inquiry Workshop, filled with curiosity and experiments!
Every good investigator has to know their senses, so we had different activities which included identifying odor, objects by touch, and mapping our blind spots. Then we moved into a wee bit of forensics and practiced our chromatography skills, which included a mystery to solve. The scenario was as follows, at a crime scene we collected "X" ink samples so we each separated different brand of pens to identify the brand of pen that had the "X" ink from the crime scene.
And today, we got to write our secret messages in magical ink! Well its not so magical but practical because we used lemon juice to write our secret messages on white, plain paper. The message only appears if you carefully apply flame to oxidize our ink. ;]
The workshops have started! And a lot or learning has been going on in the Investigation Workshop. On the first day we all learned from each other what investigation engenders, who are investigators, and listed our pending curiosities. The curiosities ranged from outer space to diseases. There were also a few students questioning the bible, "Where did the wife of Cain come from." I became excited by their curiosities because questioning is an adventure, in my opinion. I noticed that a few had the conception that questioning was bad because it implied that one didn't know. But I think that at the end of the day, we all agreed that questioning is much more interesting than knowing because there's so much to explore!
We also learned about inquiry and related it to scientists and the scientific method. Understanding the scientific method was a trick, especially understanding what a hypothesis is. Therefore, we did a mini exercise that uses the scientific method. We all had a cup filled with candies and each class designed their own scientific experiment. Most of them decided to pursue the question: "how many candies are in the cup" and formulated their hypothesis, then tested their hypothesis by counting the candies and lastly, analyzed and shared their results (e.g. if their hypothesis was right or false).
Today, we learned about probability. I was impressed at how everyone identified the similarities between a probability and hypothesis. Anyway, it seemed that everyone really enjoyed probability because of the coin flipping activity and the Monty Hall Problem. Thus, I have high hopes for tomorrow's experiment--it's about density!
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