San Diego Kids’ Program
This year’s theme will be animal science. Our two-day program will focus on what we can learn from the animal world. We’ll take the theme and create fun, innovative activities that keep kids engaged and smiling throughout the day. This theme will be reflected in the décor elements that we bring to transform the space. We’ll bring the outside into our space on the SENG Conference hotel site, and create a space that evokes the world outside and the animals’ natural habitat.
Students will have the opportunity to participate in scheduled activities and demonstrations or to engage in free-play activities if they prefer. Participation is always encouraged, never forced. There are always multiple choices for children to choose from and enough program leaders to ensure each student has the attention they require.
OVERALL THEME: “If we could talk to the animals…”
How do scientists learn from animals when we don’t speak the same language? What can we learn from how animals navigate their world? How do we avoid assuming the intentions of animals based on our own human experience? And while we’re at it, is there a scientific reason why we find some animals to be so cute?!
We’ll explore this theme through topic blocks that allow students to ask questions, make discoveries, and get hands-on and interactive. Outside presenters, activities, and live animals will bring excitement and emphasize the real-life significance in each topic.
How do animals communicate? Do humans communicate in similar ways? We’ll explore the scientific principles behind various modes of communication. Does communication ever lead to misunderstandings in the animal world or is that a uniquely human experience?
Activity: One Word Plays
Animals may not appear to use different words when they communicate; rather, different sounds, tone, and emphasis help tell their story. We’ll divide into groups and create short plays where the characters can only use one word to tell the story. Costumes and props will help set the stage.
2. First Flight
Creatures large and small have been flying for millennia. What took humans so long? We will look at the mechanics of birds’ flight and compare them to human flying machines.
We will be joined by Lanner Falcons, Augur Buzzards (Hawks), owls and even a few chickens to learn more about these birds’ flight, diet, behaviors, and more. We will also compare these birds to reptiles. Students will have a chance to get in on the act and experience these beautiful birds up close.
What can animals teach us about survival and the efficient use of resources? We’ll learn about the various survival strategies used in the animal world.
Activity: Survival Challenge
Learn about each animal’s way of surviving, while trying to survive some challenges yourself. Volunteer students will “compete” in certain challenges against our animal guests, measuring speed, bravery, strength, and more.
4. The ‘Clothes’ We Wear
While some animals adorn themselves with plants and sticks, most rely on their natural coverings. What are the advantages of each?
Demonstration: Sensation Adventure
Our live animal guests will help us explore scientific inquiries about the sensations of touch, from fur to feathers and scales to spines.