The students spend part of their day in a facilitated play environment. They are encouraged to play with children of differing ages in one of three rooms with different types of activities and levels of action and noise in each area. In the most active room are different building sets such as Lego, Brio train sets, and wooden blocks. The students spend time creating, experimenting, and collaborating with the different sets.
It is fascinating as a teacher to observe what the students discover. In this case a group is playing with Kid K’Nex, a set with “organic” components such as wings and feet. I suppose the intent of the set designers was that younger children would find it fun to use the pieces to make creatures. What this group of kids did was to take the “eyeballs” and use them to create a game of spinning tops. The eyeballs spin nicely both right side up and upside down. There are connecting places on the side where the students experimented with adding different lengths of sticks. This had the effect of slowing and stabilizing the spin of the tops, and added excitement because the sticks could more easily knock the other tops off of the table, which is the goal of the game.
The game that the children created relates more to physics than biology. It is a very satisfying game that they will play over and over again.