Sunday, October 19, 2014
The Mind Lab
One of our homeschooling groups had a day at Unitech's Mind Lab in Central Auckland last week. Wow. I have to admit, it takes a lot for me to be impressed with courses for kids these days...but both Jed and I were wow'ed out by Mind Lab.
The kids divided up into two groups. One group did 3-D modelling and Jed's group did a day of science. He had a BLAST.
The days work focused on force and pressure. There was a lot of laughter, respectful fun banter with the kids, and a whole eon of learning with hands-on experiments. The mix of concepts, talk and letting the kids get on with it was perfect. Plus, there was the thrill of making rockets that exploded up and hit the ceiling...what's not to like?!
The whole feel of the place is one of space, light, and just general coolness. It's a great place to be. I must have taken 100 photos.
It reminded me of the Small Poppy sessions Jed did for years with the GEC. I haven't seen him that excited and comfortable in a class situation since then. He's asked if he can go back every week and was very disappointed when I explained it was only a day programme. Perhaps there is a fortnightly class for homeschoolers we could organise. (The Mind Lab does run an after school programme, but it would leave us in town at peak hour traffic. As it was, it took us 2 hours to get there in peak morning traffic. Not something I want to repeat on a regular basis. One of the things I love about homeschooling is that we get to scoot around the horrendousness of our cities traffic situation by choosing to travel off peak.)
The Mind Lab crew has just won a prestigious Innovation award. I can see why. That's all over their facebook page HERE. You can get a sense of how much fun those folks are!
Apart from their courses and classes for kids, The Mind Lab is a specialist digital education lab for kids, grown ups and everyone in between. They are also doing a fabulous and much needed job in training teachers up to be digitally literate and might I say, creatively kick- ass.
Not only is Mind Lab a great place to be, they have excellent coffee on the premises, in the form of Coffee General. You may not know this about me, but I love my coffee. More on them shortly. They deserve their own post. Those folks know what they are doing.
Thank you Mind Lab, and especially Chris, for putting so much fun into opening kids up to the wonders of the world of science and technology. Nice work Mind Lab!