The first part of the outreach season is in the books. It's been a whirlwind three months for sure, and the outreach educator and the van is looking forward to a winter break! Here are the numbers, for those of you keeping score at home: 35 schools, 15,200 students, 143 programs taught, 7,022 miles travelled.
I'll hit the road again in February, but in the meantime, I'll recharge my batteries and work on several exciting projects here at the museum. On Dec. 1st, I made the three and a half hour drive to Mayfield, KY in Graves County and taught three programs in a large auditorium at Mayfield Middle School. It was "Character Day", so many of the students were dressed up as characters, like Cookie Monster (complete with a painted blue face), Elmo, and several others that I didn't recognize.
After a stop at Hill Brothers BBQ in Mayfield (excellent) it was back on the Western Kentucky Parkway for a two hour drive, headed towards Ohio County, where I got a room at the Beaver Dam Inn. A Mexican restaurant was recommended by the hotel front desk staff, so I found the small, storefront restaurant and took a fajita quesadilla back to the hotel room for an exciting evening of college basketball. Hotel life is what it is.
The next day, it was up the road 15 minutes to Hartford, KY, and home to Wayland Alexander Elementary, a large, modern school on the outskirts of town. I taught seven different programs throughout the day in the media center, to large groups of enthusiastic, but very well behaved groups. I was impressed with their handle on the core content as well: The fourth graders knew all about weathering (science), the fifth graders knew about opportunity cost (economics) and the third graders, despite not knowing the term "ratio" (you don't get to that until fifth grade), figured out probability concepts with no problem. I've been to several Ohio County schools over the years and I always walk out impressed. And no soreheads either.