Yes, son, I am, and not just because you could lift a car, but because you were curious as to how that could possibly happen.
(let's get real here - he can barely lift his brother)
Somewhere else along the way, we talked about water. Not just talked about it, but played in it. And by we, I mean we. I got my hands into the water and started to build a dam that would ideally retain the water that was being brought into the basin. What were my kids doing? They were exploring. They were tinkering. They were learning. We talked about why the balls were floating and the LEGO pieces were sinking, talked about how the dam works, and talked about how the water pressure made it so that the ball could shoot up to the top of the structure.
One of the ladies who worked there was standing next to us at the water exhibit as I pulled out my "I want to build a school like this" ideology and she immediately thought it was cool. "Wow, if your son was learning about the Panama Canal, this dam would be a perfect way to make it meaningful." You're onto something here, kid. You really are.
While I'm fully aware that museums like these have deep-pocketed donors who help build and maintain these exhibits, we are wasting millions, no billions, of dollars every year on ridiculous intervention programs that have notoriously been proven ineffective in the long term. We have wasted millions, no billions, of dollars on teacher training to help differentiate an undifferentiatable classroom on a large scale. We keep throwing money at stuff we know doesn't work, tools that are just tools, and curriculum that is more rotten than the week-overdue milk I had to dump out after we got home.
My kids left the museum exhausted, scraped up, and angry with us that we had to leave for dinner. If we could've left them in there for another 4 hours, they would have happily obliged. I would've loved to have seen a station next to each exhibit that allowed the kids to play around with the what and learn about the why of each station, but that's not the purpose of a museum like this. Instead, we send them to school for the why and forget to have them play around with the what.
I'm working on building a school. This is a huge inspiration. In the meantime, take your kids to a museum and watch as their eyes, hearts, and imagination grow.
Rather than teaching kids to play school, why aren't we teaching kids to play as a form of school?
Happy "Come Home With Rugburns and Wide Eyes" Fishing