425 Washington Street
Monterey, CA 93940
This is my Earth.
"Now we know a lot about the energies that are on our little planet.“
“Yeah. There are sure a lot of energies around here,” Jill announced in a firm voice..
“We know the energy that is necessary for the redwoods and ollieberries and flowers to grow and the energy that the animals need to move around in space.“
“The spacebinders,” Chance yelled out. “Like the eagles.”
“We know about the energy of magnetism and electricity. We know about the light energy in the elements in rocks.“
“I love the lilac color of potassium coming out of that powder you had. I just love that color,” Serene told us.
”And we know about the energy of the carbon dioxide molecule and the water molecules that cycle around and around on this small planet of ours." I gave each child a model of Earth I had prepared out of a Styrofoam sphere covered with potting soil. "What would you put on yourEarth? Forests like this one we are in? And maybe large oceans? Maybe even gardens in neighborhoods? What would you put on your Earth?" I asked them.
"I know what I’m going to do. I know what I’m going to do with my Earth.” Nissa clutched the rubber band tightly at the top of her Earth and spun herit around and around.
“I’m going to make a beautiful Earth,” Serene spoke softly as she examined her supplies of glue and tissue paper pieces. “I love Earth. My grandpa always tells me, ’Earth’s the perfect place for love’. My mom says that he’s always talking love.”
“I’m going to collect all the prickly seeds in the meadow. And I want to make some volcanoes on my Earth” Chance began squeezing chunks of Sculpey Clay in his palms, framing them up to make wild looking mountains and firey volcanoes. ”I’m going to need dried grass from the meadow for eagle nests. That’s what I’m going to stick on top of long twigs on top of my mountains. My Earth is going to have places for eagles on it.“
Jill sat quietly gazing at her model of Earth. For some reason she thought about plants eating the carbon dioxide gas. She still chuckled at the thought as she recalled her younger brother making carbon dioxide gas with her last night. She rolled the small sphere around and around on the ground before announcing, “I’m going to make grassy meadows. And I’m going to make a planet that has water holes for my horse. He likes it when I give him a bath." She began tearing pieces of various hues of blue tissue paper into what she thought would be perfect for water holes.
After the children had settled on their own ideas for their Earth, I suggested, “Let’s go down into the forest to gather some things for our planet. There are shady places where we can find leaves for fertile valleys and there are sunny places that are full of seeds of tomorrow’s flowers. Maybe we can find just the right thing for meadows and finely shaped twigs for huts and churches. And there are even some leaves that could be used for lettuce. And there are lots and lots of red berries too that look like apples in the winter months.“
“And don’t forget the forget-me-nots,” Jimmy reminded me in a loud voice.
Jill was silent as we walked down into the meadow’s dry stems. With each step she took it sounded like she was stepping on hundreds of seeds that had been dried in a large oven. She walked over to the far edge of the meadow, made sure her specimen pouch was wide open and began gathering pieces of stems and whole leaves to put on her model of Earth. “I’m going to put a lot of prickly seeds on my Earth because they can stick to Earth easier than a berry." She popped a ripe ollieberry into her mouth then disappeared around the lightcave, searching for dry, prickly, worn out stuff.
“I’m not. I’m going to put everything on my Earth. Even pebbles with quartz if I find one small enough.“ Nissa picked up a pebble and began examining it with her magnifying lens. Perhaps, she thought, this pebble would speak to her this time. It would speak to her of fortune and fame.
“Look at this. I found a feather. It's as white as a marshmallow.” Serene rushed up to me and opened her palm, revealing the delicate curl of a white feather. I took it from her hand, examined it and told her, “It’s still breast-warm. It must have just fallen. Maybe from a dove.” I held it up into the sunlight and looked through it. “Oh my gosh. Do you see what I see?”
“What?” She carefully took the feather away from me, held it up into the sunlight and looked through it.“Oh! I can’t believe it. I can’t believe it,“ she squealed out. “I see red light. And orange light and yellow light,“ she told me as if she was looking at a rainbow.
“Yes. The colored light patches kind of spread out like miniature fans don’t they?” I asked.
“I want this feather for my Earth.” Serene looked up at me witih the broadest grin I had ever seen stretch across her face, for this little feather charmed her in a large and unforgettable way. It made her feel like an explorer, an explorer of rainbows.
“And did you see the blue and violet light layered close to the spine of the feather?“ I asked as she brought the feather back up to her eye and squinted through it, holding her gaze as if she was viewing a swarm of fireflies.
“Yeah.” After a long silence some compelling thought directed her hand to quickly close down around the feather to prevent it from flying away. “This feather is going to be in my lightcave on my Earth.“ She pushed it down into her pouch for safe keeping then went on pulling at dry stems of grasses while secretly looking for more marshmallow-white feathers.
“I’m going to make a nest for a eagle," Chance announced as he reached down and orphaned a dandelion from the meadow.
When we returned to the lesson area it wasn't long before I saw models of Earth that had already aged millions of years. I saw oceans shored in dry grasses near equators. Waves of clay mountains appeared out of nowhere in northern hemispheres. They were topped with short conifer branches and small redwood cones. Chance wasted no time sticking thick prickly seeds into a small clump of hairy grass stems. He glued the ’nest’ on top of a young branch from a redwood tree and stuck it into one of two tall Sculpey Clay mountains he had made before gathering the specimens in the meadow. He placed it by a large deep blue tissued lake. As I watched him work, his planet just seemed to give way to the perennial green of young redwood branches which were carefully wound around toothpicks and arranged in clumps making it look like a conifer forest of the northwest. Jill glued prickly seeds at the base of clay plateaus in row upon row making it look like vast deserts. Near her equator small light blue tissue paper ’water holes’ bordered large brown redwood twigs.
When I looked over at Nissa, I noticed her Earth was almost bare. It wasn’t even waiting for the spring. A small piece of granite was pushed into her planet near the equator but nothing else was to be found. Almost naked. A faint glitter of gold. "How are you doing Nissa?” I asked her.
“It looks so different. I don’t know what is wrong. I have never seen the earth like this before.”
"Like what? What do you mean?”
“Oh.” She struggled with her thoughts. “It just looks different.” She rotated her planet around and around as if searching for something only she knew was not there.
“I’ve got everything I need for my Earth," Jill yelled out then glanced over at Nissa's planet. "It looks like everything on your Earth has died."
Serene walked over to Nissa’s planet and asked, "Where are your flowers?
“I've got everything I need for my Earth too,” Chance told all of us.
“I’ve got worn out places for my prickly seeds and places for my oceans and a giant lake with green all around it. See Lake Tahoe?” Jill rotated her Earth around so she could show me her sky blue Lake Tahoe glued near the equator.
Joshua came over to Nissa with a look of enormous concern. "There's no water on your Earth."
Nissa stared down at her Earth that was without an ocean, a port, a lagoon or even a creek. In fact, it looked like it was the moon to her. “I know what’s missing.” She finally spoke, mumbling to herself. “I know what’s missing. It’s the sky. I never saw the Earth without the sky before.” For the next half hour Nissa quietly crafted small strips of colored tissue paper into various shapes. A sun- shaped disk of pasture-green tissue paper was glued next to her piece of granite making the rock look like a glistening cold mountain. Around its base she scattered delicate petals of bright yellow Sourgrass flowers on top of tiny drops of glue. Each petal spread out away from the granite’s base making what looked like sheets and sheets of bee flowers; liquid gold for miles and miles. At a glance it looked like John Muir’s Yosemite Valley in early spring a hundred and fifty years ago. After she placed a narrow creek-blue ribbon of tissue paper through her golden valley she abruptly stopped and informed me, “I am going to bring the sky to my Earth”
“What? Bring the sky? How can you do that? Bring the sky?”
“Well, like this.” She picked and pulled a small bit of milky white down from a graybeard she had found in the meadow. She then pressed its softness onto her tissued creek-blue water, her focused fingers dripping with glue. “There. Now you can see the sky in the creek. I see puffy clouds in creeks and rivers all the time. That’s what was missing.” She looked up at me more satisfied now that she cashed in on a hunch. Now her Earth had a sky.
“Ah, yes. Reflection.“ I turned to the children and said, “Come and see how Nissa added a sky to her Earth."
“No two clouds are the same,” Nissa told us as the children walked over to inspect her planet. “Some have faces like the moon and some look like rose petals drifting by. One day I was cloud watching with my mom and I saw a horse without a head at first. Then it turned into a shape of a lady with a long flowing skirt like a swirling dragon’s tail."
“Clouds are different from dust. You can’t get clouds in your eyes like dust,” Joshua told us.
Just by listening to a child express what nature is up to gives the lesson a degree of informed analysis, depth instead of shallowness and understanding instead of attitude. We at StarChild Science are commited to pursuing a vigorous presence of children's explanations and observations in science activities. We can't loose sight of this one critical ingredient... the child's input!
“How many eagles’ nests are you going to put on your Earth, Chance?” Serene gathered her pieces of tissue paper and began tearing them into many different shapes for her oceans and her lakes. “I think I will put my lightcave near a lake." She cranked her neck slightly then added, "No, maybe at the South Pole.“ Young green shoots of redwood trees that were wound around toothpicks lay beside heron the table. There were seven of them, one from each of the seven redwood trees in the lightcave which was just behind her.
Do you see the volcano on this little model of planet Earth? That volcano is made out of sculpey clay.
The Greenhouse Effect and the Bathtub Effect
...it is a loud message that a prompt start is needed in curbing and then cutting emissions if you want to cut the chances of passing dangerous thresholds.
“I’m going to make one more nest. And a few more mountains.” Chance revealed his plan. "But I can't forget a big river. Eagles love rivers. They can grab a whole salmon out of the water."
“I like learning about the plants the best. The gas eaters are what my sister calls them. The carbon dioxide gas eaters. And I like the volcanoes too.” Serene arranged tooth-picked redwood shoots into a circle near her South Pole and poked them into her planet, securing them firmly with a dab of glue. She placed her marshmallow-white feather gently down into the bottom of her lightcave with such deep felt care she looked like, as Cervantes expressed in his Don Quixote, she was attending a benediction. It was easy to tell she silently wished the little feather well.
"This feather is very delicate. It will remind me of a prism and the lightcave. It will make my Earth the most beautiful Earth of all."Serene sighed deeply as she stared at her work. “I’m going to put this fossilly thing near my lightcave,” She gently fingered a dry stony shell she found on her treasure hunt with such unplanned pleasure you’d have thought she was gluing an ancient relic from a lost civilization onto her planet. After the tiny shell was successfully joined to her Earth just above the South Pole she confessed, “I’m glad I’m not a fossil. I don’t want to die.”
“I wouldn't like to be a fossil either.” Nissa overheard her.
”I don’t want to die either. Ever.”Chance lifted his planet up into the air again and gave it a flick of his wrist. It spun around and around causing it to gather an almost fluid look. Its oceans blurred with its mountains, its eagle nests with the North Pole. It soon was belted with a new yellow-gold; a dandelion gold of impressive dimensions. “Earth has a bunch of energies on it,” Chance muttered just loud enough for Joshua to hear.
Joshua didn't reply immediately. It took some time for him to think about what Chance had said. As he worked on his planet, Joshua remembered the time he tried to catch light in a jar. Then he recalled the time he turned his teepee to face the east. He would never forget seeing a whole village of teepees facing the east. And he remembered making molecules. The gas eaters, the plants came to mind right after that before he answered Chance, “I know. The earth has a lot of energies.”
"Sometimes I think all there is is energy in the air outside my room. A whole bunch of the stuff." Chance told Joshua his most recent thought about the matter. Joshua thought maybe Chance was right. Maybe the whole world and outer space is full of energy. He reminded himself to ask his dad tonight. He let the thought drift away before announcing, “I’m making a person. A explorer person,“ Joshua showed Nissa his explorer person made of Sculpey Clay. It had two arms that were bent in a prayer -like position and the head was in a bow. It was sitting on his planet near the equator.
“Where does your explorer person live?” Nissa asked him.
“Well, I don’t know. Maybe I’ll put him near the South Pole or maybe the North Pole. Or maybe I'll leave him in the middle. I don’t know yet.” He stopped a moment, recalling stories he had read with his father about explorers of long ago. “Maybe he will navigate the whole world and find out it is round like a ball. Like Magellan did a long time ago... a real, real long time ago, way before my great grandfather was born..”
Joshua's mother came over to me and asked, "What are we going to do with these models of the Earth?"
"We are going to create a water cycle. Then we are going to watch the Earth travel through darkness and into the first light of day," I told her.
"Water travels in a cycle?" Joshua asked his mother. "What's a cycle mom?"
"A cycle is like a bicycle wheel. It is round." Chance answered before Joshua’s mother could respond.
"Water moves like a bicycle wheel? I've never heard of that before." Jill spoke up then turned to Nissa, "Boy, there's a lot of weird things in this science class that I've never heard of before,"
Joshua returned to his explorer person, trying to decide where to put the ’praying’ sculpture. He found himself wondering about things he had not wondered about, ever. He wondered if pirates knew Earth was round? And he wondered about water. He had made water out of fire with the rest of the children but how did the explorers make water? Out of fire on the ship? Joshua's father had told him many times to never drink sea water. And he wondered about winds and storms at sea. He knew he was going to have to have a large discussion with his father tonight.
"This model is kind of neat. I can see the kids have many questions about the earth and animals from just looking at the model. But there is one thing I can't stop thinking about."
"What is that?"
"What is going to happen to Earth? There's so many problems. Big problems. Global warming. Weather changes. Species extinction. The Arctic warming."
"All can be solved through knowledge. What we must do now is educate our children by first laying out a building plan for them.”
“A building plan? What do you mean exactly?”
“Laying out a basic structure in physical science that they can grasp. Once the building plan is understood we can lead our children to embrace an ecological viewpoint using the building plan StarChild Science offers. Look at each chapter of my book as a brick in the construction of a building plan. The first brick is light. Then, one more brick, the duality of magnetism and electricity. Then, the third brick, the atom. Then, the fourth brick, the molecules necessary for life Then, the fifth brick, the plants which are made of molecules, which are made of atoms and are able to capture the energy of sunlight to create carbohydrates and fuel the sixth brick, the animals and the last brick, the seventh brick, man. Once children understand these pieces we can lead them to understand an ecological framework that is necessary for sustaining a healthy Earth. Creating lessons in ecology for children is my next work.”
“I never thought of ecology being a science my child could understand before. Do you think you can teach me and Joshua the fundamentals of ecology we must understand to produce a safe future?”
"From the very outset, StarChild Science was not created to reflect the neglect of science education around the world. Rather, it was created out of a deep concern about a diminished future for the next generation. We mothers around the world can overcome the perennial failure in science education by uniting with one another from the realization that it is imperative we not look to the school system with expectations. It is imperative that we not let our children wait for any school system to tailor science program after science program that produces mediocre results. We mothers must begin to embrace the reality of knowing how energy flows through the world at the family-table. We need to embrace a science program that makes sense under the current conditions of global warming. Any science program that begins exploring nature by first understanding the behavior of the energy of light, the energy that cradles reactions and forces in the physical world, is the only program that offers true sustainability to the next generation."
"For every person in the world to reach present U.S. levels of consumption
with existing technology would require four more planet Earths." The Future of Life by Edward O. Wilson
"We are smart. No? This one statement reveals beyond a doubt that we have learned how to create an economy-driven paradise." Judy Wilken MS
"I think I am like many other moms. I think all mothers want a safe future for their child. But, the majority of us don't know science so we think the school system knows how to teach science and what 'science' to teach. Now, it is obvious school systems are not in the business of producing excellent levels of understanding in science. Or math. Their track record is abominable in many countries, not just ours. Australia, England, Scotland, Ireland, Japan, are all crying 'foul' daily.
"Even though we have not had the training you have had in science, that doesn't mean we don't want a rich and safe future for our children. What you have given me is a template. I know that. A template to focus on and teach my child the necessary fundamentals he will need to help create a sustainable future for himself and his children."
”I really believe that all it takes is a concerted effort on the part of parents all over the globe to educate their children by using this template I have created."
"At first I thought it was going to be hard. But now, I don't think that at all."
"It isn't hard once you know the direction you have to move in."
"Yes. That's it. It is knowing the direction."
"You just have to decide to do it and begin. Have a prism available for your child; a microscope; a few magnets. Make a model of a beam of light with construction paper like we do in StarChid Science: Teach Your Own ebook . It will cost you a few cents. Then, begin leading your child into rich experiences with these tools of science. Nature will do the rest. Don't worry. Inquiry will happen, for this is what human beings do. We inquire. We ask questions. We explore. This is our nature."
The Gifting Earth is a free online system that enables its members to help each other through gifting and sharing.
Read how to make fruit and vegetable gardening more fun and productive.
Take a break, sit in our garden, you’ll understand why it’s magical! – Suzka
Wed, May 22, Thurs, May 23- 6 pm- 8pm
Memorial Day as Remembered from Iowa
Sand City of Monterey Bay celebrated their diversity as they opened their community to art, music, dance and great delicious favorites. Hundreds of teachers, students and administrators stopped by the StarChild Science booth and talked about the gap between the food service personnel at the local public schools and the children's kitchen at home. August 24 - 25 - 26 2012
Carmel Farmers Market
Carmel , California
All about good food, good cooking, good company, and good health.
Roxanne B Sukol MD MS
Chef Ann Cooper of The Lunch Box
Contra Costa Certified Farmers Markets
425 Washington Street
Want to know more about solutions? Visit www.synearth.net
For an excellent paper on community see Dee Hock's paper on community. Dr. Wilken has presented Hock's thoughts in his Community of Minds web site.
Monterey Bay Farmers Markets
"The best French Country cuisine around."
All Saints' Day School
Artichokes, Dandelion Greens, Strawberries & More!