Yesterday we went on our second field trip of the year! We traveled all the way downtown to Helen Gordon Child Development Center at Portland State. We visited the Remida Center, home to thousands of loose parts and tiny pieces. We also visited the food forest, home to lots of edible plants (and even some waffles and pancakes made out of clay!). While in the Remida Center, the children explored three spaces: the light room, the tiny realms, and the workshop. This part of the field trip was meant to be an extension of the work we’ve been doing to develop a culture of reuse at our school. The Remida Center is similar to our Reuse Center, but on a larger scale. In the light room, the children got to see how different materials appear over a glass table strung with Christmas lights underneath. Light and shadows were a big theme at the beginning of this school year and it was fun to see how light and shadows can be explored through the lens of reuse. In the tiny realms, the children were able to interact with little ecosystems such as a beach and a forest all made of of reuse materials. In the workshop, children were able to work with materials on the table to build with. Many of them made machines such as vacuum cleaners and an “old-time fashioned motorcycle.”
While some of us were exploring Remida, some of us were exploring the food forest. Michelle, our host at Helen Gordon, told us a story before we entered the food forest. When the food forest was first grown, a group of children were asked what they thought they might find there. They said waffles, pancakes, and persimmons. Obviously, they did not find these things, so they decided to create their own out of clay to distribute through the food forest. Our children thought that was pretty silly, and had fun searching for these clay foods throughout our time there.
As always, the transportation to and from our destination was just as fun and the destination itself. We rode the #9 bus all the way across the Tilikum bridge and everyone had a great time gazing out the window pointing out all the exciting things that we passed. It was such a clear day we had sightings of Mt. Hood and Mt. St. Helens! On the way back we got to take the bus and the street car. We even got to sing some of our favorite songs on the street car when we were the only people on! We are thankful to our hosts at Helen Gordon Center and for the creativity at the center that inspired us all!