We love our local public schools. We feel like our kids are getting a good education there. We've had some excellent teachers, and great experiences with the administration listening to and addressing our concerns. But sometimes we feel like they're not being challenged as much as we'd like. So a few weeks ago, Chris and I decided to offer an incentive for the girls to do some extracurricular work. We told them we'd pay them to research a topic and present what they'd learned to us.
Vicki's reaction was pretty much, "Meh." Of course, she's a busy girl this year and is taking an especially challenging math class, so I can understand her not wanting to fill her downtime with extra work.
Lexi, however, jumped at the chance. She just spent all her money on an iPod, so she's eager to fill that piggy bank back up.
She spent about a week researching the states of matter. Chris gave her some advice and a little guidance, but she did the bulk of the work on her own. Once she was finished with her research, she put together an awesome PowerPoint presentation for us. I wish I had thought to actually record the whole thing, but since I didn't, here, at least, is the PowerPoint part of it. She had notes printed out, with all kinds of information for each slide, but you'll have to use your imagination as you watch this (it's a little long and there's no sound, so feel free to skip ahead):
Not about to be outdone by her sister, Ellie decided that she needed to do a presentation, too. Inspired by the states of matter, she chose to do her presentation on...wait for it...gas. Oh how I wish I could have included her commentary, too, or Chris's description of her "research" process (essentially, it involved Google image searches, and him asking her, between fits of laughter, "What else is a gas?") You will definitely want to watch the whole thing on this one:
A few comments: I have no idea what that's actually a graph of, but Chris says she told him, "We need graphs and charts!" When she got to the "liar, liar" screen, she told us, "This means you should never hold your gas in. You should always just let it out, or this might happen."
My kids are awesome.