Field tripping, that is.
Today was the day Lorelei and the other second graders had been longing for and talking about for WEEKS.  (These little kids get so worked up over things that they are bouncing off the walls DAYS in advance.) Finally, they were going on their first field trip of the year!
So they climbed aboard the bus, and we chaperons got in cars (remember the olden days, when each mom piled a few kids in her car?), and we headed for Oak Ridge and the American Museum of Science and Energy.
This is a seriously great museum, where I have been many times, but not since Lorelei was old enough to remember.  My favorite exhibit is the Story of Oak Ridge gallery, where visitors can learn all about the Manhattan Project and the atomic bomb and what the area looked like before the government took it over.  My five little charges, however, couldn’t have cared less about that and blew through an exhibit that would have taken an interested adult (me!) an hour to peruse in about three minutes.  They didn’t care about Y-12 and National Defense, either.  Or the Earth’s Energy Resources.  Or the World of the Atom.
What DID they like?  They enjoyed the special classroom program on solids, liquids, and gases.  They liked the puzzles and the giant inflated T-Rex.  They liked playing on the dinosaur simulator.
But the big hit, the moment they had all been waiting for, the one thing they may remember when they are all grown up . . . was the presentation on electricity in the auditorium, where every single one of them (me too!) got a chance for a truly hair-raising experience.

Photo credit: AMSE

That’s a stock photo–most of our results were not so dramatic.  Here’s Lorelei taking her turn:

The delighted screaming while all this was going on was deafening, let me tell you.
Field trips are supposed to be educational, right?  I recall compositions I had to write entitled “What I Learned at the Armstrong Tire Company” and “What I Learned at the Coca-Cola Bottling Company.”  I was in the eighth grade when my class visited the AMSE.  You want to know what I remember?  I remember going to Mr. Gatti’s afterwards for pizza, and that Brett Nutter ate 13 slices.
That’s right–the kids won’t remember a thing about Y-12 or methods of mining coal or the Manhattan Project.  But they’ll remember the fun.


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