Sunday, October 28, 2018

Science Olympiad: Data Crunchers!

Homeschoolers have so many great opportunities.  Sometimes it's overwhelming trying to weed through all of the classes, co-ops, clubs, field trips, lessons, projects and curriculum.  Yes?  Please tell me I'm not alone in this struggle!  As my 15-yo would say: "The Struggle is real!"

One thing I've always wanted to do with my kids is First Lego League.  It looks really cool.  The kids seem to have fun.  And it's all STEM-my, which is a hot buzz word these days.  If your kids are getting tons of STEM, then your homeschool is rockin' it right?  I don't know.  So I've heard.

But I could never find the inner "oomph" to jump in the FLL realm.  Honestly the commitment and the techno aspect of it turned me off.  I'm not very techie at all.  

At the same time, I do want some kind of long term effort that culminates in some cool project or acquired skill set that is demonstrable in a competitive environment with other students.  I feel like homeschoolers don't really get many opportunities to do that sort of thing (Like a science fair or something).  

These thoughts were swirling in my mind when out of the blue SCIENCE OLYPMIAD crossed my radar.  A few months ago I would have let my eyes skim over those words as I melted with exhaustion at the very thought of it.  But times and seasons, my friends.  Times and seasons.  Recent decisions and circumstances have freed up some of my mental storage capacity! And I felt like I had the energy to tackle this.

If I had known exactly what I was getting into when we signed up two of our girls for this program, I may have reconsidered?  But I'm glad that ignorance is bliss.  I'm glad I didn't shy away from this.  It DOES feel like it's going to be a lot of work (yet manageable) but I also think it will be SO worth it! 

My 8th grader is in two different events: Solar System and Write it/Do it.  My 3rd grader is in two events called Data Crunchers and Body  Builders.  Here's teh very happy news: I'm already teaching a Human Body Systems class for my 3rd grader at our weekly co-op so BOOM!  There you go.  Study time is built in to our week already!  Data Crunchers on the other hand...we're having to put in some real effort there. But that was part of the goal!  

So this Data Cruncher event is kinda like statistics for kids.  It's more than I would have really thought would be age appropriate for elementary school.  But what evs.  We're doing it!    Here we are at the house with some friends working on learning what a "mean" is.  I had the kids stack as many blocks as possible in 40 seconds.  Then we found the group's average (mean) tower height.  We did this several times along with other timed activities (hopping on one foot, spinning) and it was really fun!  
Who said statistics can't be fun?

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