We felt very official in the library meeting room today, which is where we conducted some research about the history of flags and had our first session of independent skills practice. When the NOMAD vision is fully realized, our classes will nearly entirely rely on local resources like this one. Looking forward to continuing to test out spaces and learn how to be self-sufficient in the world with the class this semester. We'll definitely use the library again!
We took a surprise visit to learn about John's dad's company, SharperAx. Paul told us a few inspiring stories: one about Abraham Lincoln and another about Birdie the tiny lumberjack. In both stories, the characters were able to cut more wood with a sharpened ax, even though it took them a long time to sharpen their tool. He showed us an example of how these stories apply to his work--people use his program to practice telling the stories that help their businesses to be effective and successful. He helped us tell our own story, which we recorded as a video, explaining the lessons we learned from the circle challenge from Tuesday. It was a blast!
After lunch and a park break, Tommy showed us one of his favorite things to do: geocaching. There was a "difficult" geocache on the way back to the library that we decided to look for. The hint was complicated and required us to read all the plaques about the history of the Burlingame train station. We finally discovered that the dates on the plaque needed to be plugged into an order of operations math problem, which we are determined to solve. The answer of the problem will reveal the next GPS coordinates needed to find the cache. Next time we meet, I'll organize a lesson so we can solve the equation and continue our pursuit. (First, we have to sharpen our axes...)
Back at the library, we dove into a building challenge aimed at emphasizing the importance of teamwork, communication, planning, and iteration. Two teams were given a small bag of materials with which they were asked to build the tallest free-standing tower possible that touched four squares on the floor, each one foot apart. The first iteration wasn't successful for either team - one fell over, and the other was not free standing. After the second iteration, both teams received more points, but for very different reasons. Both teams, however, worked beautifully together. When asked about what the challenge taught them, the kids said, "To work together and listen to each other," and "to not get discouraged if you fail at first" and "wow - we can actually compete and nobody's feelings got hurt!" We compares the process to our future project work where we will all need to iterate, iterate, iterate. Another application of the lessons learned at SharperAx!