Desert Museum Week 6

What a wondrous week, I got to do something other than drawing! That’s cool.

Classes were what I did! I was an assistant in two of them. One was for a field trip group, and the other was for the Coati pups program. The Coati pups program was basically an education program hosted once a month made aimed at young children and their parents. This program focused simpler topics than Coati Kids club, but I enjoy how the education department at the museum tries to provide classes for a variety of ages.

Usually the Coati pups programs had around 10+ children, according to Ms. Robin and the other volunteer, but apparently many had cancelled in the days before, leaving just one little girl, her parents, and her grandma. What a lucky kid she was! Since there was only one child today, Ms. Robin and the other adult volunteer could handle the one child well on their own, and I got to help explain things to the parents and grandmother. This was definitely the easier task, though.

One thing I’ve come to realize after assisting with these classes for a while now is just how difficult it can be to break down seemingly simple concepts to be understandable for children. The other class I assisted in was for elementary school children, but there were many more, a whole class full. As Ms. Robin lectured on birds and showed the class Luca and a barn owl, I helped pass around various artifacts; bird wings, skulls, feet, and eggs. As the objects were moving around the room, being passed from student to student, one boy called me over with a question. He was holding a hollow ostrich egg, and he asked me where the baby bird was.

There was a hole drilled into the top of the egg, and the boy peered inside of it. He handed it to me, and I looked inside as well. I wasn’t sure what I expected.  I told him that the egg yolk was drained out through the hole, but the boy didn’t understand. He just wanted to know where the baby bird was. I realized I would have to explain how baby birds form from egg yolks, and early on in development the embryo would have been small enough to have been drained from the hole. I had to repeat myself a few times before he either understood, or just got bored of my rambling.

I guess this goes to show that what I thought to be common sense might not have been as common as I though, especially with younger audiences. As I write, I’ll have to make sure I’m breaking down the concepts in a way that could be simply understood.


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