Directed by Lee Franklin and hosted by The Gunston School, The Think Tank is an after-school enrichment program that welcomes children from all counties to the Gunston campus. Bus transportation may be available for students from Centreville and Kennard Elementary, and Centreville Middle to Gunston. The winter session runs January 7–March 11 and includes the following classes for kids, ages 3-14:
NATURE DISCOVERY for PRESCHOOLERS
Ages 3, 4 & 5 / Mondays, 10:00-11:30 a.m. / taught by Jenny Houghton
Discover the wonders of winter with Adkins Arboretum educator Jenny Houghton. Children will explore the scenic Gunston campus and learn fascinating nature lore along the way as we play in a variety of ecosystems. Topics will include snowflakes, hibernation, cardinals and icicles! There will be other surprise topics too. Each class will include a nature walk, songs, stories and a craft to take home. Children should wear weather-appropriate clothing and comfortable walking shoes or boots. Grown-ups are welcome to join along in the fun.
Grades 2–5 / Tuesdays, 4:00-5:30 p.m. / taught by Mary Neuberger
In order to learn a language, we must not only memorize phrases, but be able to create our own and exchange them with others. The universal language of music is no different. In this hands-on music course, songwriter Mary Neuberger will help you learn rhythm, time signature, pitch and melody and show you how to combine these elements into pieces of music. Using piano keyboards, vocals, drums and percussion, you will work collaboratively to create a musical piece you want to record and share with your families. In this class, you will gain a foundation for learning more complex musical principles, develop teamwork skills and, of course, have lots of fun!
WINTER “NATURE” LAND
Grades 4-8 / Tuesdays, 4:00-5:30 p.m. / taught by Courtney Leigh
Come and explore the wonders of the outdoors in the brisk, fresh air that encompasses Gunston’s inviting and exciting woods, fields and shoreline! To some, the winter landscape appears barren and lifeless, but join me to discover the surprising evidence of life just waiting to be found by curious young lovers of the natural world. In this class you will learn how to identify trees without their leaves, search for hibernating animals, identify animals by following frozen tracks, and determine adaptations of animals by comparing their skulls. There will be a special visit from some local raptors to understand their role in the local ecosystem. Please be prepared to trek through the woods and fields in the winter weather for every class!
WORLD CRAFTS ~Creating Traditional Crafts from Different Cultures
Grades 2–6 / Wednesdays, 4:00-5:30 p.m. / taught by Susan Mayberry
Winter is a great time for snuggling in to work on projects! In this class, we’ll choose a few countries to “explore” and learn about their unique cultures through their art. Using paper, paint, plaster, wood and fiber we’ll design and build traditional crafts such as origami, paper window stars, plaster scrimshaws, dream catchers and tools and perfect our skills at folding, carving, weaving, building and constructing. Expect a few surprises and some good, creative fun.
EXPLORING GREAT QUESTIONS—SERIOUS FUN WITH PHILOSOPHY
Grades 6-8 / Wednesdays, 4:00-5:30 p.m. / taught by Jeff Franklin
Philosophy begins with wonder. Philosophers apply their curiosity by asking questions that help them logically explore the nature of the world. Join Franklin’s Toy Store owner and ex St. John’s College tutor in this discussion class that will introduce students to important and interesting philosophical questions. We will use logic, analogies and mind-stretching thought experiments. Students will learn to discuss philosophy with rigor, good humor and mutual respect. There will be plenty of new questions for students continuing from last year and/or the fall semester.