Dunsmuir Middle School and Lakewood Elementary, Victoria, BC

Monday, March 4, 2013

Alejandro Erickson and Kassia Holland visited Dunsmuir Middle School and Lakewood Elementary, in Victoria, BC.  They represented both GeoBurst and the Math Catcher Outreach program.

This is how Alejandro described the visit:

 8:30 am grade 6 class, 27 very well behaved students and easy to work with.  Some real bright ones!  I made my own version of your presentation, following a similar format to promote scholarship, ask what is math, show the video, and ask where is math.  Kassia told them about her experiences taking environmental tech, and that went really well (for both groups).  

The second group was grades 7-9 at a nearby middle school.  It was an opt-in lunch time event, held in the "All nations room".  My host Jon Carr, Aboriginal Literacy & ESD Teacher, told me he expected 7-15 students, but when I built my giant tensegrity inside the tiny room, where you could see it from the door, and Jon offered them pizza... we got almost 30. There were kids sitting on the floor, on tables, on chairs, inside the tensegrity, talking and engaging with me... all with their usual mix of teenage antics, from playing gansta rap music loud on their iphones during pizza break, to trying to avoid participation, and talking over my tensegrity instructions. I was in my element. I overheard Jon and his support worker commenting that "even so-and-so did the activity!". Not surprising to us, of course, but still very gratifying.

In both classes there were kids that recognized the pattern in the Fibonacci sequence.

The icing on the cake was that the District Numeracy Coordinator visited the middle school presentation, and he was very impressed/enthusiastic.  We exchanged cards, and he talked to me about future visits to his schools. I told him my situation about trying to graduate, and make something of GeoBurst and Math Catcher at the same time (I took the liberty of representing you here too), and promised we would be in touch.

On an aside, this mixed school took care, during announcements, to pay homage to a special day on the local FN calendar, and in the "All Nations" room we listened to a prayer of thanks, for which we stood quietly, with open "receiving" hands.