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From Drop Box

The Magrathean Apprentice Training Workshop went really well! We had 14 kids each do a planet. (All little girls, for some reason.) Most of them were quite engaged in the activity for a reasonable amount of time, and they did a nice bunch of planets.

Jill made the astute move to move the activity to the big square-ish table, where all the kids could sit down, which minimized the mess. The tables, fortunately, were covered with taped-down disposable paper tablecloth. A bit of paint got on the rug, which nobody was very concerned about; the theory being that the hotel would shampoo the rug after we left, and since we were using kids' art supplies, the shampooing would take care of it.

* The paper-mache (dilute school glue paper-mache on balloons) worked pretty well. Most of them (about 12 out of the 16) made it to the con with no major damage or squashing. So we didn't have quite enough that were perfectly round... But that turned out quite alright. When vorpalkitten decided, 15 minutes into the session, that she wanted to do a planet, I had to tell her that I might have to give her a planet that had just gotten hit by a big asteroid, she exclaimed with delight, "Planet that just got hit with a big asteroid!" It was very cute. :) There was no grumbling about the bumpiness of the paper-mache; one of the girls explained that the bumps were the hills.

* Good thing Charlene brought some paint too. More color variety, the better. As far as quantity goes, it turns out that just a little paint went a long way.

* Cotton batting and cotton ball clouds were a big hit!!!

* Good thing Charlene brought cottage cheese cups for stands. The planets really, really needed stands while they were being painted. We did not have quite enough. I was going to improvise more stands by asking the con suite for empty 2L bottles and cutting the bottoms off, but they were not recycling at all in the con suite and the 2L bottles were all winding up in the trash barrel-- ick... If I do a similar thing again, I will eat lots of cottage cheese over the course of the year, and/or get on the task of acquiring 2L bottles earlier. (Does nobody on my flist ever have 2L bottles to recycle? Srsly?)

* We had a TON of fabric thanks to mud_puppy's generosity. Just a bit of it was used. It seemed that the fabric was much more inviting to the kids if cut up into small shapes, which Charlene and I only did a little of. So the girls mostly covered the planets with paint and clouds.

* Mountains and icebergs (improvised from cut-up egg cartons and plastic easter eggs) were somewhat, but not hugely, popular. However, the technique of attaching these to the surface needs work.

* They didn't do much with construction paper after all. A couple of them used pipe cleaners.

Fast Track was in a one huge box-shaped cavernous space. Never mind the idea of kicking off the activity with a bit of discussion on the topic of planetary geology; it was so incredibly noisy in Fast Track that it was really stressful to me to talk at all, to try to make myself heard, that I just stuck to the minimum discussion-- just a bit about what materials they had access to, just to get the kids going.

AJ seemed rather stressed out when I showed up the day before to contemplate the art supplies. The day of, AJ had disappeared, and Jill Eastlake seemed to have things in hand. Jill was wonderfully sweet, helping me pick out just the right art supplies. Yay for Jill! She was also very sweet about signing my volunteer sheet, including a whole bunch of hours spent on paper-mache pre-con, so I could get my t-shirt. Yay t-shirt!


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