The Scope, Norfolk’s city arena, showcased a traveling exhibit called Jurassic Quest. The main hall display showed a variety of life size animatronic dinosaurs in various habitats and lifestyle scenarios accompanied by information boards. One scene showed a dinosaur attack, however I questioned the need for the “flowing blood” to heighten the point. They made a fountain of red water flow from the dinosaur bite. It was quite funny.
The most interactive and popular attractions for the kids were the robotic dinosaur rides and the moon bounce obstacle courses. You simply cannot have a children’s event without some sort of moon bounce.
By far the best exhibit was the baby Dinos. Yes in 2017 you can pet and interact with a baby dinosaur. Shocking! These cute hand puppets looked great, felt pretty real, and were even a little feisty. Kal found out the hard way.
Some of the sections like the rides and moon bounces were an additional cost to the ticket price but overall it was a good exhibit to spend your money on. Make sure you take water because the Scoop charged me $5 a bottle. Thirsty much?
Find out if Jurassic Quest will be near your town: https://www.jurassicquest.com/
The Investigate with Jam crew took a creature walk to the playground. During our journey, we tried our best to count all the creatures we could find. As expected we saw too many birds so we decided to only count the single ones and not the flock. As we looked for different animals and insects we started to notice their homes and potential hiding places. It was fun trying to guess what creatures could live in each place.
Our simple creature walk also turned out to be a magical experience. Did you know in Laurel Maryland you could find elephants, peacocks, and lions on a walk to the playground? It’s true…. well according to Kal. He even pointed to a red and blue peacock, and I got a picture of it. Can you see it? Try closing your eyes. Can you see it now? I told you a magical experience. I love the imagination at work.
Our final count was as follows:
1 falcon/ hawk (there was some debate)
Take a creature walk on you next walking trip.
Case study #15- creature walk. Look for something that flies, walks, hops, crawls, or swims. List what you find.
So, I finally got around to the introduction of architectural drawings. The three basic drawing views used to express an architects design is the plan, elevation, and section.
Each of these types of drawing are essential for a designer to communicate their projects to others. So how do we show these concepts to kids? With CAKE!
Jam and the IWJ crew learned architectural drawing concepts with everyone favorite treat. (Please don't judge my cake decorating skills- the point got across) As you can see from the pictures I broke out my reliable landscape books to show them examples of real plans, sections, and elevations. (those college books still come in handy) After we looked at book examples they each took a turn investigating the cake. With every drawing, we discussed the differences, focusing primarily on shapes. We talked about how in plan view the cake looked like two circles, but in elevation it was two rectangles. The hardest part of the lesson was keeping the kids out of the icing. Every time I looked away Jam’s fingers and lips got browner.
I have to admit the best part of the lesson was eating the cake.
Find your house on Google Earth. Look at the aerial view (plan) around your neighborhood. If available jump to street view (elevation) and discuss the differences you find.
Case study #14- Investigate a snack. Find two snacks in the kitchen and draw them in plan, elevation, and section. Then devour.
Drawings from the books
The old house book of cottages and bungalows- by Lawrence Grow
Landscape graphics. Plan, section, and perspective drawings of landscape spaces- by Grant W. Reid.
This group of investigators examined their neighborhood for patterns. Patterns are a big element of design and can be found everywhere. We talked about how to look for different rhythm schemes like A-B-A-B and A-BB-A.
I pointed out examples like how the cars were parked, car –empty space- car- empty space, and the colors on the ground: green grass- tan sidewalk-green grass-tan sidewalk. I shared how many of the patterns we see are not accidental because designers think about these things. The team thought that was pretty cool.
The team tried to just stand on the front steps and look around but I was not going to let that slide. You gotta get out and about, move around a little and all that jazz.
Happy autumn! There is no better time to look at leaves then when they are all over the ground. The Investigate With Jam ™ crew adventured out on another tree hunt. This time we searched for Oak trees. I printed off five differently types of Oak tree leaves for the boys to use as a guide.
I picked different Oak trees that could be found in our area. Pin Oaks and Red Oaks are common street trees, and Willow Oaks and Swamp White Oaks like to be around wet areas. Since we live off a road and in walking distance to a stream I figured we had a good chance of finding something.
Interesting, out of all the places we walked and looked we ended up finding 3 of the Oak trees planted along road to a softball field. Trust me no one was more excited than Kal.
We would have continued our hunt for the other two trees but with a playground near the softball field my team got distracted.
Join the search and find an Oak tree.
Case Study #12 - use these leaf pictures as a guide. Circle the leaves you find.
Reference Case Study #4 to help you describe your leaf.
Investigate with Jam is an activity blog in the
Radicle Roots Series. Our mission is to get out and explore our environment.
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Courtney McQueen is a landscape designer and children's book author from Columbia, MD