(cross-posted from our family learning blog, “Learning Signs”)

Rachel (my 9 year old) recorded this last night, following several discussions we’ve been having over the past few weeks about science and becoming a scientist. Last spring I took Rachel to Chris Simon’s classroom at Independence Elementary School in Yukon Public Schools, and she was VERY impressed with the STEM lessons Mr. Simon does with his students. She specifically mentioned that in this short audio podcast.

Rachel has expressed interest in doing more “Talking Science” podcasts, so we’ll likely do that in the weeks ahead. This past August in Montana, Lucy Gray told me about the Maker’s Faire she attended in San Francisco with her kids and how WONDERFUL it was to experience that DIY culture filled with science and engineering projects. I’d love to bring Rachel and my other kids to a Maker’s Faire at some point. A couple of years ago Nathan Parrow (who I interviewed for a podcast on electric car conversions) was working on bringing a Maker’s Faire to Oklahoma City, which would be hosted by our Oklahoma Science Museum. It would be GREAT to have a local Maker’s Faire. Nathan also told me he was part of a group that was putting together a space in Norman for DIY / STEM projects. I’m not sure what the status of that initiative is either, but I’d love an update if you have info or a related link to share.

Young people start forming their identities about who they are and what they want to do EARLY in life! We can’t underestimate the importance of providing kids with MULTIPLE opportunities to experience how fun, engaging, and challenging science, technology, engineering and math work can be. This can’t wait till middle school, high school or college!

Last night William Chamberlain saw my Tweet about Rachel’s AudioBoo and initiated a conversation with Krissy Venosdale about Space Camp for Rachel. I’m going to look into those options. About five years ago our son, Alexander, attended a week-long day camp at the Cosmosophere in Hutchinson, Kansas. I’m going to look into camp opportunities there as well as at the Houston Space Center, which we visited in July 2011. I am SO thrilled Rachel is excited about science and STEM, and want to do whatever I can as a parent to further nurture these interests… whether or not her Oklahoma City Public Schools‘ elementary school provides these kind of learning experiences “formally” or not. Hopefully we’ll be able to host some kind of “Scratch Camp” for parents and kids at her school later this fall or next spring.

Touching a moon rock!

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