Tuesday, June 08, 2010

They Call Me "Mr. Science": Bottle Rocketry Adventures

Ah, what fine Hawaiian afternoon...

...The perfect day for Bottle Rocketry.
The children were busy at work, putting the last touches on their rockets.

Some were working harder than others, but hey, everyone has to learn to deal with group dynamics.

3 of the 5 groups launched their rockets today (due to stupid scheduling issues by the administration), and it went off fantastically. I for one was very pleased with the experiment, but I know for a fact the kids loved it. The biggest letdown of the day was when I told them we couldn't do the same thing again tomorrow (which is when we'll start Chemistry, tee hee!).

Some of these kids are the most precious things in the world. Everyday, we have them write in their journals what they learned today. One of the boys (I can't remember his name, he's new) showed me his journal which said, and I quote:
Today we flew rockets. Our rocket came in third. I was disappointed.

But, he told me personally he had a lot of fun, and it was the best day of his life. So, I guess things even out in the end.

I was only able to film one of the younger groups, so take a gander:
*EDIT: Video Removed*

It's becoming easy to spot the kids with potential. Joachim de Posada gave a remarkable TED (Technology, Entertainment and Design, www.ted.com) talk about a social psych study conducted in Brazil, which tried to relate self discipline with future success, The Marshmallow Test. The study was simple, it placed a child in a room with a marshmallow. The child was told, if you don't eat the marshmallow when the guy leaves the room, you'll get two when he comes back. Of course, as soon as the guy left the room, a lot of the kids instantly snatched up and gobbled down the marshmallow. But others waited. The study followed these kids throughout their schooling, and found a clear correlation between academic success and the self-restraint to not eat the marshmallow. Those who ate the marshmallow developed criminal records early on, and such and such.
Watching these kids make their rockets poses a similar factor. When cutting the cardboard fins and taping the various pieces on, some kids just slap things together, just trying to finish their rocket. But others were very meticulous, making sure each string of the parachute was the same length, and making sure the fins were symmetric and taped on nicely. I think it's this patience and attention to detail that will develop into productive and beneficial study and work habits later in life. I'd be interested to see if there's any correlation.

Also, the children are still having issue with my name, as I suppose Sakimoto is a bit of a mouthful (in all honesty, I would stumble over my own name a times during Speech and Debate). Those who can't remember Sakimoto have either tried and guessed "Mr. Taketono", or my favorite, have begun calling me "Mr. Science".


  1. OH THEY'RE SO SMALL!!! And they make such cute noises!! EEEEEE!

  2. You haven't even seen the cutest ones yet. I'll try to take pictures and video of the really young ones in the future. These are the first graders in the video. Wait until you see the Kindergarteners, who are not only the cutest things ever, but frighteningly smart, and quick witted.

  3. Kelsey, the job might be hard work, but at least work apparel can include flip-flops. Enjoy that while it lasts.