This term, our Wondering and Wandering through Curious Minds after-school course commenced with an array of gifted girls from different schools around Perth. The girls span a range of ages and draw on their character strengths of curiosity, appreciation of beauty and excellence, and open-mindedness as they inquire and investigate the BIG questions they are curious about.
Sophie (Year 4) is exploring the question, ‘What are cats really thinking?’ Her curiosity stems from her love of cats and her intrigue in the secrets behind their intelligence, behaviour and personality. Whilst wondering about the BIG question, she pondered further, ‘Does the way a cat looks at you tell you something? I wonder if their ideas affect their newborn? Do traits pass through cat generations? How? Why? I wonder if cats’ wives and husbands combine traits? How do different breeds affect their habitat?’ Following investigation inspired by her wondering, Sophie identified a further question she was curious about, ‘I wonder if male and female cats demonstrate different behaviours?’ As her mood board comes to life with her findings, I wonder if she would be able to analyse her cousin’s cat’s behaviour next time she visits him?
Scarlett (Year 5) is exploring the question, ‘What if there was no ozone layer?’ Her curiosity stems from her intense interest in Science and the world around us. In a previous Imaginarium after-school course, Scarlett’s curiosity led her to explore black holes in our universe. Whilst wondering about the BIG questions, she pondered further, ‘How was the ozone layer formed and what caused this to happen? What is in the ozone layer? Why would having no ozone layer be a problem? What would happen to the Earth? What would happen to life on Earth?’ Scarlett is deep into the investigation and has found that the ozone layer is thinner over Australia. She is in the process of creating an app with her findings, developing new digital technology skills in the process. I wonder what else she will find in her investigation?
Milla (Year 3) commenced the Imaginarium course with an abundance of questions. ‘Why do we read horror stories? What if people were 2D? What if there were people on Mars? What if dinosaurs were still alive? What if we didn’t grow up?’ Following deep reflection on what she would like to explore further, Milla decided to investigate why someone tried to slash the famous Mona Lisa painting. She wondered, ‘Why does the Mona Lisa have the title for the most famous painting? Is it really the most famous painting? Why does the Mona Lisa have so much protection around it? Who was the creator of the Mona Lisa? Were many people jealous of the painting?’ Through her investigation, Milla has painted a replica to explore the technique of portrait painting and is creating figurines that portray the information she has acquired through researching her questions, to symbolise their meaning.
Abigail (Year 2) also commenced the course with an abundance of questions. ‘What if rose petals were sled boards? What if someone invented something that could turn man made things into natural things? What if the environment could change? I wonder why people called some colours boy colours and some girl colours?’ Abigail was intensely interested in giraffes, in particular the albino giraffe. She wondered, ‘Can you make a giraffe out of boxes?’ Guiding her thinking, her questions were, ‘What would a giraffe look like in shapes? Why is a giraffe so tall? Why are there rare species of giraffe?’ Abigail created a design for her giraffe, labelling the features and materials she would need to create it. She is currently in the process of constructing the shape of her giraffe, her creative thinking and application in flow.
Chloe (Year 4) is curious about Megalodons and if they still exist. She is also interested in black holes and if the sun would turn into a black hole because of a super-nova. Chloe wonders if the Megalodon does exist, would it live in the Mariana Trench, the deepest part of the sea? She has created a painting of a Megalodon appearing in a wave with the sun turning into a black hole in the distance. One of Chloe’s favourite things to do is paint as she loves to be creative and mix colours to express unique ideas she is curious about. Chloe’s next venture is to explore some imaginary adventures of the Megalodon by writing a story. I wonder where this mysterious creature will go!
Kenzie (Year 2) loves painting and using Lego. She also loves animals. When exploring questions she is curious about, she wondered, ‘Why is the earth so hot in the middle? Why do cats hunt? Why do trees help us breathe? Why do we have predators? When your teeth fall out, why don’t they grow back straight away? What if people were made of ice? Why are bunnies’ eyes red? How would people move if they didn’t have a brain?’ Kenzie decided to explore the question, ‘Why do cats hunt?’ She supported the overarching question with smaller questions to guide her inquiry. ‘Why do panthers have claws? Why do lionesses do the hunting? Why do tigers have stripes?’ She is currently creating a habitat for wild cats out of maker and craft materials to show all the big cats, how dangerous they are, and how hard it is to catch them.
Elise (Year 1) commenced the course with an abundance of questions: ‘Why can fish breathe under water? What if clouds were made out of cotton candy? Why is the moon able to shine when the sun can? What if dogs can live for sixty-nine years?’ She decided to explore the question, ‘If things are certain shapes, what happens when we change their shape? Can they still be useful?’ Elise created smaller questions to guide her exploration. ‘What if things were all square? What if things were all circle?’ Elise drew a range of different things to explore the different shapes they can are. She drew eggs, a bed, a ball, a flower, a tree, a card game, the school crest, the sun, a butterfly, a vase… Elise decided to investigate if a turtle’s shell could be changed from an oval shape to a rectangular shape? She investigated why a turtle needs a shell and designed a new shaped shell for a turtle which she is in the process of making. Elise is currently exploring what she can create inside her shell that correlates with what a turtle needs a shell for… I can’t wait to see what evolves over the next few sessions as her rectangular turtle shell evolves and her thinking deepens.
Ari (Year 3) has been participating in Imaginarium courses for two years. She is intensely passionate about animals and every individual project she has completed through the Imaginarium, has been focused on animals in some respect. A few months ago, Ari gained a new pet – a blue tongue lizard! She decided to explore some of her pet’s features that she was curious about for her project. Ari wondered, ‘Why don’t blue tongue lizards have opposable thumbs?’ She further inquired, ‘Why do lizards have blue tongues? Why do blue tongue lizards need light? Why do lizards have scales?’ Ari is currently investigating the answers to these questions and creating a habitat for him to travel in when she takes him to school for news as well as information cards and a chatterbox to help others learn more about her unique pet.
Chloe (Year 5) is passionate about space. She wants to become an astro physicist and work for NASA, studying planets to see if they had oceans; identify if there is another plant that is in the same position as Earth but with a different star, and to explore if there are other life forms out there. She came into Imaginarium this term with an array of questions. ‘Why if there was another planet you could live on? What if aliens are real? Why aren’t there other life forms? If there are, why are they hiding from us? What if there is a multiverse?’ She chose to explore the question, ‘What if there could be lifeforms on Venus millions of years ago?’ Chloe is currently immersed in a deep world of information, excitedly telling us about the new understandings she develops, as they evolve.
Scarlett (Year 6) loves new ideas and to be creative. She loves solving problems and is passionate about her school work. Scarlett started brainstorming questions she was curious about; ‘What if humans didn’t evolve to have hands? What if there was nothing on Earth but seeds and plants and mould? What if there was another type of humankind? What if there was a duplication of Earth someone else out there?’ Scarlett refined her thoughts down to the question, ‘What if there were no humans on Earth?’ She created sub questions to guide her inquiry, ‘Would the Earth be a better place? Would many extinct animals still be alive? If they came back suddenly, what effect would it play on the world? What would creatures look if they evolved differently?’ Scarlett is creating a series of art pieces using different textiles on what the world would look like if humans didn’t exist. As her ideas come to life before our eyes, it is fascinating to see this concept through her eyes.
We are just over half way through the girls’ projects and the room can change from excitedly sharing new findings, to questioning peers on their project, to deep immersion in their own project where the room is suddenly quiet. Keep an eye on our Instagram and Facebook pages for updates on their projects over the rest of the term!