I’ve mentioned before in class that I lack teaching experience, but I recall a time when my martial arts instructor asked me to teach a junior student a complicated form sequence. I assumed he asked me to teach because I was experienced in this particular form (I’d been practicing it for over two years). But then why wouldn’t my instructor, who is much older and a far better teacher, instruct it himself? Surely he has practiced and taught this form much longer than I have? There were a couple of moments I noticed when my junior was learning this form from me. We were about seven years apart and the age gap only made us more comfortable with each other. That respectable, yet awkward student-teacher relationship was instead a peer-to-peer relationship where my junior can comfortably ask questions that helped him practice better. Another thing I’ve noticed while teaching is that I continuously learned even in the act of teaching: I had to review what I knew so that I wouldn’t miss a single detail, constantly pay attention to how my junior was responding to my advice, and correct him if he made a mistake. It was often the questions that juniors would ask where I learned the most. They would ask how to make specific movements or even how I would practice the movements at home. These questions would make me reflect on my practice and even refine my physical details. In the end, we would both grow as student and teacher, learning is never one-sided.

This was the mindset I wanted to bring to our visit with the kids. As long as they were curious and maintained a peer-to-peer relationship with me, we would be able to work together and make a great project. If we could find out what makes them curious, then those at the Liberty Science Center will be able to feel the same way.

More ideas!!

  • “Climate change isn’t new”–present interactive climate change data of earth vs. when human civilization began. In the form of: motion video projection, interactive touch board, or invisible infographic. Inspiration: the spiral infographic of the omnidome in the Natural History Museum
  • “Games of Thrones is actually about climate change”–compare climate change with story elements for GoT. In the form of illustrations, video clip comparisons. Inspiration: there’s a paper on this, will link later
  • “Your mission is”–collect people’s numbers, send them out into the open space, after a few minutes they receive a message, “You are in grave danger. Tiny microbeads disguised as cameras are hidden in the water.” Then they’ll receive an audio message that gives them instructions that culminate to the end of the story mission and a background to story elements. In form of: experiential audio/text. Inspiration: the app Zombies, Run!
  • “System modeling”—have systems (water, plastic, human) interact with each other (through touch objects or ui system) and project motion graphics of results. Inspiration: Jay Forrester system dynamics, simulations