There are so many things happening in a Kidsfirst day to capture a child’s imagination.
At Kidsfirst Lincoln, young inventor Amael had cleverly made an elaborate construction with ice-block sticks and a hot glue gun.
“When I told him that I thought it looked like a receiver for tracking birds, his curiosity was sparked,” says Teacher, Helen Smith.
Together Amael and Helen researched online and found an image of a kiwi, with an electronic tag on it’s leg and a picture of a person holding up a receiver.
Scientists and environmentalists use electronic receivers to track the location and movement of a tagged animal in the wild, without having to re-capture them.
The electronic tags give off repeated signals transmitted back to the receiver to provide a lot of useful data.
“This new information really caught Amael's attention and he liked the idea of searching for a kiwi, so off we went,” says Helen.
In the meantime, there was another group of children who had decided that Bert, the lone kindergarten snail, needed a friend to live with him in his tank. The two groups soon became one and Amael's receiver was now on the hunt for both kiwi’s and snails.
But it was not that easy... the children searched and searched but could not find a snail, even with the receiver.
"We could not find one anywhere, so I used our flax weaving knowledge to quickly fashion a few cabbage tree leaves into the shape of a snail for the children to find," says Helen.
With a gentle nudge in the right direction and the help of his trusty tracking device, Amael and his companions eventually found the snail for Bert, perched on the watering can.
The game of snail hide and seek had begun.
Helen explains, “Amael would hide the snail and generously share his receiver with others and tell them how it worked.”
Amael had quickly become a teacher of his new found understanding. What a wonderful example of ako (teaching and learning at the same time).
While the idea of a transmitter and a receiver may have been new for Amael, the concept sat alongside his prior knowledge of GPS navigation, which is very much part of his world.
“Last week when we talked about boats and early explorers navigating by the stars, he could not fathom why they did not use GPS,” adds Helen.
The receiver kept Amael interested for days tracking kiwi, (a tricky business as they are nocturnal). They discussed many other uses for a receiver, like tracking sharks across vast oceans, lions over expansive African land and even tracking lightening and storms in the sky.
Kidsfirst Lincoln - it sounds like you may have a few budding explorers and navigators in your midst.