Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Bike field experience

We met at Plaza Saltillo with our bikes, helmets, and scooters in tow as part of our human powered unit. Our mission was to practice riding our bikes and to get more comfortable with balance and using our brakes and gears. After a lesson on bike safety and practice time, we crossed the street to East Side Pedal Pushers to meet with Lee, the owner and expert on everything bikes. 

Lee, owner of East Side Pedal Pushers
 He gave us a tour of the shop and talked in detail about the wheel and axle of a bike. He also gave us some insite on questions we had about the history of bikes and how gears work. Thanks Lee for your time and expertise! 

We had a picnic, practiced some more on our bikes, and had play time at Comal Park. 

Monday, April 15, 2013

Visit to St.David's Episcopal Church

Last week we took the #4 bus downtown to visit Rebecca at St. David's Episcopal Church. Jonas had requested we take a trip to see where his mom works, and since we often pass by St. David's on the bus, we too were curious about the historic building. 

In the small chapel room: Rebecca telling us about her job as a small groups and volunteer coordinator.

In the chapel pews. 

The church was built in 1853! 

There are 20 stained glass windows, each with their own story. 

The altar was built in the 1900s and is made of white Italian marble. 

Eleven of the stained glass windows are over 100 years old. 

View from the front.

Exploring the building. 

Jonas explaining the contemporary uses of Bethell Hall.

The meditation Labyrinth was exciting! 

Relaxing to the soothing sounds of the stone water feature.

Turns out there were tons of snails that made the water feature their home. They were fun to watch! 

Thank you Rebecca for having us visit such a beautiful building! 

More pictures from our St. David's visit here!

Monday, April 1, 2013

Parade!Club 2013

The inaugural year of Parade!Club was a blast from start to finish. We met every Wednesday after school for 6 weeks, where we planned and prepared for the annual event, HONK! TX. The theme we decided on, by vote, was wings and rainbow colors. We constructed a dragon float with rainbow wings and our colorful banner, made by Mollie, sparkled in the sun. We loved watching the process of costumes, ribbon dancers, and noisemakers come together each week. The day of HONK! TX we gathered with hundreds of people in full costume and paraded around East Austin with music from Laura Freeman's Hey Lolly Brass Band.

Special thanks to all our Parade!Club kids for being awesome and our parents for being so supportive. Thanks to the amazing Laura Freeman for sharing her music, Mollie Nelson for sewing the most beautiful banner, Janice Beck our paper mache master, and to Kate Ludlow and Jen Arntson for putting our float together. We can't wait for the next parade! 

To learn more about HONK!TX click here!

Visit to ACC

We took the metro rail last week for the first time this year to the Austin Community College Highland Campus to visit Brian, Amelia's dad. He is a master controller operations specialist, or TV producer, and Amelia requested for us to go visit him. It was a great opportunity to see how producers operate the audio and visuals from a control room.  So many buttons! It was also fun to see ourselves on TV screens and hear our voices on loud speakers. We ended our trip with a picnic at the historic Plaza Saltillo and made fairy houses out of natural elements. 

Waiting for the train.

Brian showing us the control room. 
Jonas talking through the loud speakers.

Brian showed us how to test the microphones. 

Jonas in the ACC Board members meeting room.

Amelia, Caitlin, Brian, Renee, and Jonas controlling the cameras and audio for Sy. 

Sy on TV! 

Jonas and Amelia in the control room.
Lunch at the Plaza

Renee made a whale

Fairy home

Interesting natural materials

Catch and Release

Spring is springing! Creatures are crawling! 

We went outside last week to find creatures lurking around and we were lucky to find so many. Renee, Sy, and I found a few caterpillars and put them in our terrariums. We've been observing them daily and they pretty much eat fresh dill all day.  Hopefully this week they will pupate and we can see the process. 

One of the caterpillars we are observing.

Renee found a large snail. 

This little guy lost his tail in the catch. 

Oh! These are fresh banana muffins we baked for snack. Yes, they were delicious.