Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Inspired by the gas shortage!

Since we started out our day directly impacted by the gas shortage, I decided the last part of our schoolday would be an impromptu lesson on "how do we get gasoline?". The topic ended up dabbling in all manner of subjects (science, economics, history, current events, etc) -- we had already studied in current events lately how Hurricane Ike affected the offshore drilling (we watched the path of the storm in relation to the rigs as they were preparing to shut them down), so today we read about how oil is refined, we watched a video about life on an offshore oil rig (mute the music, it's a bit wild!), and then the kids set to work building an offshore oil rig.
This is one of the things in which David just shines. His brain is wired with all of the engineer/mechanic/scientific/analytical genes of his forebears, and he has a real gift for seeing something and being able to figure out how it works and how to replicate it. He had specific plans in his head, asking me to cut holes in particular spots for his towers to anchor through, and as he explained I realized that he could really see it, in detail, in his head. He built his rig complete with a helipad (he -- the child that seems barely able to pay attention to me through a whole sentence -- had even noticed that the helipad in one of the myriad pictures we looked at was "shaped like a stop sign"), railing, "signal thing" (radar), a cab for operating the drilling equipment, and even exercise machines and bunk beds (you can't see those two in the picture, he added them after I took the picture!). Watching him fascinates me just as much as everything else I learned today about the drilling/refining process!
David demonstrating a helicopter landing
David and his offshore oil rig
Abigail is so funny. She made a basic rig and a helipad (perfectly appropriate for her age!), but then she made an "H"and an "L" out of blocks to signify "Helicopter" and "Land". That was the extent of her interest in building. She spent the rest of the time making up stories about what happened on her rig and helping her princesses visit the rig (though they weren't allowed on the helipad).
My kids never cease to amaze and delight me! I am so glad that they enjoy learning just as much as I do...because I'm having a blast!


cj and family said...

It's so incredible to watch our children learning and growing. Seeing David brings back so many memories--I cannot see him but think of Jared, and it sounds like he has a personality to match. Have fun! Life will never be boring!

Anonymous said...

How fun, Marsel. You're a creative teacher, and your kids certainly "go to town" with their projects! =)