by Miguel Ignacio
On the 22nd of April, 2017, the Ateneo Gabay Erya Formation Program hosted a field trip for a select number of grade 6 Erya kids of the partner schools of the program, Industrial Valley Elementary School (IVES) and Holy Spirit Elementary School (HSES), who are now on their summer vacation. The project was sponsored by Children’s Hour, a non-profit organization that supports projects on education and child welfare and development. The field trip was a visit to the famous Mind Museum in Taguig, a popular museum filled with interactive exhibits and informative installations. The kids were accompanied by new and old Gabayanos as well as volunteers from the Gabay-NSTP program, an alternative NSTP program partnered with Gabay’s Erya program. The IVES kids were brought to Ateneo by bus to fetch the volunteers before proceeding to the venue while the HSES kids took a jeep straight to the museum. On the way, the kids and the tutors were briefed on how the trip would go and laid down some ground rules to make sure there were no unnecessary conflicts or disruptions.
Upon arriving at the venue, a buddy system was formed between the kids and the volunteers to make managing the kids easier. Once grouped, the kids entered and were greeted by Aedi, the resident welcoming robot of the Mind Museum. After getting an overview of the museum, the groups broke out to explore to their heart’s content.
After a few minutes fiddling with the exhibits, the groups were called to the auditorium to attend a short science show on on the concepts and interesting things pressure can do through a series of experiments. The host asked a number of kids and volunteers to help her with the experiments which got the audience engaged and involved. Some of these included holding a half-full glass of water upside-down over someone’s head without it spilling and collapsing an empty five-gallon jug of water using only alcohol and matches. The show, albeit short, was a lot of fun for both the kids and the volunteers.
After the show, the groups broke out again and wasted no time to get as much as they could out of the museum. Most of the groups were able to try nearly all the available exhibits (a number were closed due to renovation), with popular attractions being the Van de Graaff generator, the Shadow Portrait booth, the Laser Harp and Laser Piano, the Dizzy Tunnel, the Light Bridge, and the T-Rex Skeleton exhibit. Questions flew around about the different scientific concepts behind each installation, both from the kids and the volunteers, who had the chance to relearn forgotten topics and learn a good number of new ones.
After the kids squeezed what they could out of their limited time, they gathered near the entrance of the museum to film a short thank-you message to Children’s Hour, the trip’s sponsor. The group had lunch in the small park beside the museum and played around with another set of fun interactive musical installations before saying goodbye to the volunteers and heading home after a tiring but fun-filled field trip.