We knew this would be a fun event but we had no idea what a big hit it was really going to be.
(Keep in mind that our K-5 school has just over 200 students enrolled right now.) As we began planning for this math/science night we decided it would be a good idea to have families RSVP so we would know how much food to buy. It was only refreshments, but we wanted to be sure no one was left out. The very next day, we had about 40 people who had RSVP'ed. Before we knew it we were over 100 and when it was all said and done 270 people had RSVP'ed (give or take a few). Suddenly we weren't only nervous about the refreshments but also about the space we'd chosen to use and how many manipulatives we would need for the math activities. Plus, this event wasn't required for teachers to attend like most PTA type nights would be.
Our staff is wonderful! I don't think I can emphasize that enough. As soon as teachers and assistants heard how many people were planning on attending, they all started signing up to help out. It took several of us quite awhile to make enough manipulatives but it was worth it. The activities were divided into K-2 and 3-5. Two of my teenage sons came and helped students make slimey atomic worms and acted as my lab assistants depositing chunks of dry ice into beakers with glow sticks for eerie lab fun.
The sign-in sheets show that over 100 people actually attended the event. Not as many as we thought we might have, but certainly not bad for a 1st time. Everyone who came had a blast. The dry ice crystal ball bubble and boo bubbles were big hits along with the monster math games. We made screaming sounds with balloons and hex nuts and topped the night off with a "Puking Pumpkin". As the evening ended, people were heard commenting that they couldn't believe it was time to leave. They were having so much fun they can't wait to come back for another math/science night.
What worked well? We kept it all in one place. Everything in the cafeteria. We had all the messiest stuff and things kids shouldn't touch on the stage out of the way. We used every lighting effect we could get our hands on. (strobe lights, black lights, dance lights, glow sticks, and glow powder) Teachers knew exactly which math station they were in charge of and saw the activity ahead of time. All of the activities were organized in their own bins.
What could be improved on? Consider using a rotation method for people to move from station to station. Find a way to reduce the noise during the science demonstration portion of the night.
Huge THANK YOU to everyone who helped out and participated! Can't hardly wait until the spring when we are inviting a special guest scientist to join us. Who is it you ask? Roy G. Biv of course!!
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