Thursday, June 9, 2011

Learning Resourcefulness at the World Science Festival

The ScrapKins came out in full-force at The World Science Festival on June 5th at Washing Square Park in NYC. So did the crowds. 
Our milk-carton boat building project was a big hit. (Learn how to make your own ship here.) 
So popular was the project, we we're out of milk cartons in the first 2 hours, leaving us to explore the real meaning of resourcefulness.

Here's what I learned from the experience:

1) You are only as good as your Team: Our Art Helpers we're amazing! We had them asking local stores for any scrap cardboard and returning with piles of materials from a local toy store and cartons from the coffee shop and bakery. 

2) When in doubt, let the Kids decide: We had one little girl, invent her own project on the spot, turning a straw and egg carton into a flower. We made this one of our art projects for the rest of the day. The true sense of being a "ScrapKin" and really using what you have couldn't have been clearer.

3) It's really about the act of creation: After all the preparation of materials, we found that the simple act of personal creativity by a child is more important than any shiny packaging. The child who made a boat in the morning had the same experience as the child making a bookmark from scrounged materials in the afternoon. It wasn't the project or the type of materials but the simple act of creating something.  This is a humbling and often overlooked message. In a world of amazing technology and pre-packaged fun, the power of doing something real with your hands, building something, using your imagination is more powerful and more needed than ever.

Thank you to the kids for making me remember that.