• Franklin Zhang

Day 41: Newton Students Knew-Tons More After Our Workshops!

Monday July 11, 2022

Learning Festival in Newton, Kansas

0 miles, 0 feet of elevation gain, tons of knowledge gains

We started off the day with a breakfast buffet, which is a perfect way for cyclists to start their day especially since we have a good 0 miles to bike today. We needed all the food for our strenuous physical day ahead of us /s.

We got to the Newton Public Library and started setting up before the kids started coming. When the library doors finally opened, a mass of kids have already formed in front of the library eagerly awaiting to come in! Sharon the librarian said that this was the event that they were waiting for the whole summer!

The flyer the library used to publicize the event!

The ice breaker for the day was to say your name and your favorite or least favorite food. A large group of the kids all said their least favorite food was seafood of some sort, which isn’t too surprising given Kansas. Quite a few said sushi, I wonder what terrible sushi restaurant they had in town for them to make them think that.

I wasn’t teaching the first session so I attended Simone’s workshop on color and chromatography! I had a great time learning about structural colors and pigments while playing around with markers and bubbles. I think I had just as much fun if not more fun blowing bubbles than the middle schoolers!

After that, I taught my own workshop on circuits. The workshop starts off by explaining the basics of electricity using an analogy of hikers and pizza. After that, the students get to work on a breadboarding worksheet! A breadboard is a plastic board with metal strips embedded in it and electronics components can be inserted to create a circuit. I found that in the past, the most tricky part about teaching the students how to build a circuit is to get them to understand how a breadboard works. We spend some extra attention on getting them acquainted with the breadboard. After the students build simple circuits with LED lights, resistors, buzzers, and buttons. If we have time, we also show the students a cool demo of a speaker made from paper, wires, and a magnet! Some of these speakers were built by students in one of our previous learning festivals. It’s really cool to hear the little paper speaker playing music off my laptop.

The library provided us with a delicious BBQ lunch before we finished up with our last session of workshops. The students at the library were all great! Apparently, a school teacher infiltrated our classroom and I didn’t even notice! The event was advertised for 12-18-year-olds, so it was pretty unexpected but we welcomed her nonetheless. I thought something might've been fishy when one of the students ACTUALLY STARTED READING THE INSTRUCTIONS on the worksheet.

Also here is a video of Maskedwell Yun. He is masked so well he can't see where he is going

We said goodbye to our students and headed to get ice cream as per tradition and Robert's uncle from Minnesota met us there. Ice cream was delicious and cheap!

We had previously dropped off our bikes at the bike shop in Wichita, KS to get fixed. Our car window also unexpectedly decided to stop working. The front passenger window was basically always open, and driving on the highway became a much less enjoyable experience unless one was going 20 miles below the speed limit.

After ice cream, we drove to Wichita to fix or replace our car and pick up our bikes from the bike shop. We went to Wichita 2 broken bikes and 1 broken window and came back with 2 broken bikes, 1 broken window, and another broken record saying “We don’t have the bike part you need”.

We got some chipotle for dinner and headed back.

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