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FOSS for Families

Alexina Hazzard-McIver and Anna M. Gaiter, Los Angeles Unified School District, Los Angeles Urban Systemic Project
September 18, 2002 | FOSS and the Community

It happened on March 23, 2002. Parachutes were flying, pinwheels were spinning, electromagnets were transforming energy, and model cars were racing down ramps. Excitement, enthusiasm, and inquiry were in the air. Problem solving, critical thinking, and communication skills were free flowing as ideas, information, and discussions buzzed around like bees gathering nectar.

What was this event that had 300-plus men and women actively engaged in hands-on science activities? It was FOSS For Families, a one-day science and technology conference for parents of students in the Los Angeles Unified School District. Using the Home-School Connection activities, parents were introduced to the Full Option Science System and encouraged to participate in informal learning activities that can supplement their children’s formal school experiences. A grand tour of the newly renovated and updated California Science Center provided the connection between the hands-on activities and science concepts related to air and space exploration, aerodynamics and flight, the physics of sound and light, and the fields of energy in the universe.

Energy and enthusiasm grew as parents took on the roles of beginning scientists and developed an understanding of what children need to experience in the classroom in order to learn. They really got it! Many of the parents expressed a desire to see their children experience science on a daily basis in the same way they had as they worked through five of the FOSS kits. In fact, many vowed to demand this type of learning approach for all of their children.

Get ready, Delta Education and FOSS staff! The word is out that FOSS brings science to everyone. Not one parent appeared to be intimidated or disenchanted. The pictures are worth a thousand words. Look closely at the faces of adults who came out on a Saturday and were inspired.

The parents and children of the LAUSD appreciate the support of Delta Education, Comer Johnson, and the staff of the Lawrence Hall of Science for co-sponsoring the FOSS For Families event. We look forward to more collaboration in the future with parents and teachers.

Click here to view more photos from the event.