Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Thursday Exhibitions

Thursday was almost as busy as Wednesday, with four Exhibitions, but this time they all happened in the morning: Saul at zero dark thirty (actually 8:00 am) on Gilgamesh and hexaflexagons; Taylor on photosynthesis and the Konigsberg problem; Denali on lattice multiplication and Mandarin vocabulary; and Trent, not bearing succulent chunks of steak this time, but less succulent chunks of wood for his carving lesson. Trent also facilitated a round of Math Jeopardy.

Saul pulled off the trick of getting four adults and three students intently folding, cutting, decorating, and reforming strips of paper into quasi-floral playthings called hexaflexagons. Jonathan, Mike and Kaeli were the good soldiers who came to this Exhibition, early by SK standards. Taylor took us into George's room to show the experiment he and Mike had conducted, submerging a plant in water and showing us the oxygen bubbles it produced as it engaged in the life-sustaining process of photosynthesis. (Taylor also gave us three minutes to try to solve a logic problem that mathematicians have been struggling with unsuccessfully since Leonhard Euler gave the initial 'negative proof' in 1735.)

Denali gave us chopsticks and candy hearts; we gamely tried to pick up one with the other while she gave an illustrated lecture and quizzed us on the differences between the Pinyin script and Western writing. Trent divided the students in attendance into gender-based teams, then presided over a high-stakes tie--both teams got all their problems right, mostly three-and-up-digit multiplication. He did throw in a couple of wild-card questions. Those were a big hit even though, or because, they did not show his teacher in the best light.

Trent was just kidding around. I think.

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