Monday, August 15, 2011

Science Fair

It is starting to seem like the school year is winding down.  Central America's independence day is coming up September 15th and the school has been in preparation mode for about a month now.  Our classes are only 35 minutes and we are going to have shortened class periods from now until the 15th.  We protested this a little bit, but I think it is a matter of priorities and tradition.  Ultimately, it isn't our job to tell them that they need to be in class.  Our school functions like the television show "The Office".  Almost every week we either have a party or a national event that we are preparing for.  I guess you could say Ricardo is Michael Scott.

I am in charge of the school marching band and we haven't made any progress yet.  We don't have equipment  or time to practice at this point because everyone seems to have scheduling conflicts.  I told the school today that I am going to use my sixth grade class for the band since they are incredibly smart and mostly do what they are told.  I will just teach them in music and art class.  As for the equipment, I guess I will just have to improvise.

Science fair was today and we had some awesome projects presented.  The winning group made toothpaste from scratch, which was cool in itself.  The kicker was that Honduras has some of the worst dental health I have ever seen, so it works on multiple levels.  Another project was a model city that they connected to a battery so it had street lights and a moving windmill.  My project was a lesson in viscosity.  I made quicksand goo out of corn starch and water.  I brought food coloring in so the kids could make their own bowl with their favorite color.  If you apply force to the liquid it acts as a solid, so the kids were punching the liquid and then sinking their hands in it slowing to feel the suction.  I think my project was a favorite among the students.  I had everyone coming up to my table trying to feel the goo.

One of the teachers was actually scared of the goo I made. I told him to touch it and he said it was dangerous and walked away.  He must have thought I was a warlock.  If anything bad happens to him he always gets out a bottle of liquid that is blessed by a witch and washes his hands with it.  Needless to say, he isn't one of the more normal teachers.

Robs project was an erupting volcano.  He used the vinegar and baking soda reaction with red food coloring. To top it all off, he put a bunch of gasoline in it and lit it on fire so when the baking soda and vinegar came foaming out it was on fire.  I thought it was awesome, although it got 10th place.  I beat Rob and got 9th place, but it was nowhere near what I thought we were going to get.  Another group made tiger balm, which I thought was really clever.  It was a really easy day today since they took the entire day for science fair.  I don't expect that we will be having many more full days of school the way things are starting to go.

There is a picture of one of the preschoolers crying.  One of the projects was like an inflatable person that ended up looking like a ghost.  He started to cry thinking that the ghost would come after him.  I definitely thought this was picture worthy. 

In 2 weeks I will be taking another visa renewal trip.  My plan is to cross into Guatemala real quick and see if I can convince the border patrol to give me a 90 visa.    

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