4.2.16-External Evaluator

Walking into the meeting on Saturday, covered in snow and hail, I was excited to see how the internal committee’s plan would be set into action this week. We left on a high note in the last meeting, and I could not wait to see what the students and teachers thought up next as our journey progressed into solenoids.

We began our day just as any other; we mingled, asked how everyone’s week had gone, and then reflected a bit on the last session. We also discussed how to continue on with our previous idea of circuits in both an informal and formal educational space. Members of the group provided input on how much prompt structure is needed for the students during the summer program. Examples were provided to the group and they were encouraged to discuss pros and cons of both types of prompting. It was a wonderful discussion. I heard voices from teachers, investigators, and students in the mix, and everyone’s opinion was considered.

After the discussion seemed to be dying down, the group was encouraged to participate in a movement exercise where someone would say a word and we would have to portray the word with our bodies without moving. It was a great way to get up and relax! It was also a diverse way of teaching physics concepts, and a nice way to incorporate team building.

After the activity, we all reconvened and were ready to dive into solenoids. One member brought in a real-life example of solenoids where he created a mask for a wedding, and we watched a few online videos in order to gain further understanding as to what the students and teachers would have to consider in order to make them.  However, once we accomplished these demonstrations, we noticed that time was not on our side, and the opportunity to “make” would not be possible.

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Although I did not get to observe a making activity,  I was still able to observe group dynamics and see how proximity and position can really change discussion and collaboration. I also had the opportunity to see great minds come together and solve problems; even if they weren’t the original problems they intended to solve.

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As I made my commute back home after this meeting concluded, I reflected on all of the past meetings I have observed in my culturally responsive lens. I realized that I have watched this group change from a set group of students, teachers, and internal committee members to a collaborative community who encourages input from every perspective and from every mind in the room. I have seen these individuals bring in their real-life experiences and their multiple cultures and backgrounds to these meetings and activities, and I have noticed our own culture being created. I have seen creativity, physics, and a passion for science in not only the students and teachers, but in the internal committee and within myself. And it is a beautiful process to be a part of.

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