Teaching kids at the Balloon Museum

Last Thursday, the Social Media Workgroup were leaders in “Science in the Sky”at the Balloon Museum. Science in the Sky is a series of talks and hands-on workshops that the Balloon Museum puts on each year for Albuquerque’s elementary school children. For each talk, scientists from the field teach kids about the ever-changing field of science. The Social Media Workgroup presented alongside current and former Sandia Lab scientists about the importance of Solar and wind energy. We showed the kids that outreach and presentation of the scientific ideas can be just as important as the scientific research itself.  We had many young artists in the audience, and all were interested and fascinated by the LED panel that  we brought in to show the children. After the talks, The children were split up into their classrooms, and visited different stations set up for them to help integrate the knowledge they had just acquired.  SMW ran two stations, manned by Social Media Workgroup memebers and Computational Sustainability students. One station  involved the kids by taking them to see our installation “skylight” that has been set up in the north-facing windows of the museum since last fall. They were able to interact with the piece, either using their own phones or answering the questions out loud. The other station led by myself, other SMW researchers and students from the Computational Sustainability class was about wind power, and tested out different shapes of pinwheels at different speeds produced by various fans. The children all seemed to enjoy themselves and many were interested in the science and technology behind the activities. We would like to thank Laurie Magovern for inviting us to take part in this great educational experience for the youth of Albuquerque.