A group of kids from a local homeschooling co-op visited the Lenox Laser campus on Monday, November 11, to learn about science through experiments and hands-on learning! This is the beginning of a regular program that the company president, Joe, wants to start to partner with the kids in the community and provide a space for them to enjoy regular educational field trips. There were 12 students total and four adults. Three families were represented- the Waters family, the Corkum family, and the Godshall family. The kids’ names were Gabriel, Layna, Brooke, Lacey, John, Kayla, Grace, PJ, Mia, Elisabeth, Ty, and Norlan. Their ages ranged from 15 to five.
The kids were a little shy at first, but it didn’t take long for them to start getting excited and involved. The Lenox Laser team members facilitating the event were Rachel Krafft, Shelby Smith, Joe d’Entremont, and Jon DeMeo. The first thing they did was gauge what actually interests the kids. A paper was passed around to every child with options like astronomy, photography, microscopy, lasers, etc. with even a space for them to write in their own personal favorites. This was important because the point is not to talk at the kids and make them be engaged in something that they don’t like. To build programs in the future, Science Fair Competition of Maryland wants to invest in the community and in the homeschooling system to enrich the learning experiences of the students. What better way to start than to take a poll of what programs should be offered?
Shelby shared stories about the camp this past summer, and told the families about the inventions and projects that the kids had the opportunity to work on while they were here. The kids and their parents were eager to learn more about what we do so they could sign up for this summer! Rachel then suggested that we walk up to the school house to see the toys and camera collection and spend some time exploring before the next activity. The kids shared what their favorite subject in school is and they took turns ringing the big school bell-which they all loved.
When we returned to the office, Joe was ready to show them some awesome experiments using LED lights and kaleidoscopes. He also demonstrated how light bends in variations using red, blue, and green laser pointers and linear diffraction gratings. The kids were amazed. They thought it was so cool to see the different lights reflecting on the ceiling in pretty patterns.
Jon Demeo, Lenox Laser’s Production manager, stepped out of the lab to take them in small groups on a tour where they got to see their names laser-etched on a Lego that they got to take home as a souvenir! It was a real highlight of the day, and everyone got to see how the games they had played and experiments they had seen applied to the work we do here. This kind of teaching bridges the gap so that students of all ages can truly learn how the world works, and how they fit into it.
The day was a success. The kids were laughing and asking tons of good questions. Even the kids like Mia and Grace who said they prefer art to science thought that what they learned with us was awesome. All involved are looking forward to how this partnership with local students will continue.
During the activities, Joe took a picture of everyone in the room, including the parents and fellow employees, with one of Lenox’s pinhole apertures. Those pinhole photos are included in the gallery and after this post.
If you are interested in being involved with our
Baltimore County homeschooling co-op partnership, call (410) 592-3106, or email