Friday, September 10, 2010

Fort Snelling Science and Technology

Today we started a series of Fridays at Fort Snelling for homeschoolers. Each week, for three weeks, the Fort puts together a day on a different topic. Today's topic was Science and Technology.

PhotobucketThe infantry drill was done very differently than normal. They had six different weapons, carried by soldiers from 6 different time periods, all the way from the 1820's to the present. Five of the weapons were loaded and fired, the sixth, the one from the present, was just held up for us to see. I think most of the students present enjoyed that demonstration. The artillery demonstration consisted of an 1820's canon AND a civil war canon.

We watched the blacksmith demonstration again, something both Kiddo and Kutey love to do. Kiddo also got to shovel the charcoal for the fire, quite the treat. We made pinwheels in the "Hands on History" segment, as an example of wind power.

They also had equipment from World War II and the Civil War, set up inside one of the barracks. We didn't find these until almost the end of our time there, unfortunately. Kiddo loved this part. In the World War II area, they showed the three boys who were there (including Kiddo) all of the weapons. At the end, they pulled out the bazooka. That was Kiddo's favorite moment of the day. Really. He loved it. A K*Nex model has already been built.

For homeschool days they hand out a sheet with less than 10 questions on it, each of which can be answered by visiting a different area of the fort. This time there were questions about the blackmith, the hospital (glad we don't use the tooth key anymore!), the commandant's house and kitchen, and the sutler store, to name a few. I like that they give us a "worksheet" if only because it encourages us to get new information! Once we finished our sheet, and spent 5 hours at the fort (again) we headed out. The kids received a set of toy binoculars for their efforts. We'll be heading back to Fort Snelling again next week for a new topic!

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