I scheduled a homeschool tour and class at the Museum of the Moving Image in Astoria. I actually did it. I haven't booked a trip in ages. J has been more or less lukewarm on homeschool group participation - she has a large, core group of best friends (schooled and homeschooled) that she prefers to spend time with apart from the structured homeschool group activities, but she was willing to go. I know that homeschoolers are harder to find between the ages of 12 and 15, but we got a great group together. This museum is wonderful. We started with a tour that was all about the evolution of film and video games. The kids listened intently and got to try out almost everything. They re-dubbed popular movies with their own voices (that was funny), they cranked and watched a movie from 1902 (A Trip to the Moon) on a kinetoscope, they learned about animations and made their own stop-motion movies (W LOVED this part - he was able to participate in a bunch of things). Finally the kids had a 45-minute workshop on using the Scratch program to create their own video games. It's a crude program made by some MIT students a long time ago, but it's cool. We all hung out afterwards at the nearby Panera for a great lunch. The kids had a fun time eating and laughing together. And then before we knew it, it was almost 4pm. This may have inspired me to book more teen trips.
On Tuesday, we went to another awesome Mad Science class. This one was about being a detective. We looked at different fingerprints (which was a great follow-up to the NY Hall of Science class a few weeks ago), learned about blood types, and used different senses to figure out what was in various boxes. The blood type part was really great. We all put drops of synthetic blood in different wells in a tray. Adding another chemical may or may not cause a reaction (in this case jelling up) and this determined what type of blood each table got (A, B, AB, or O). The Mad Science instructor is so funny and engaging, that all the kids loved it again. J spent the hour completing 2 chapters of LoF math and reading a few chapters of her book.