Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Stanford Splash! Fall 2014

This past weekend, we went to Palo Alto so that R and his friend and classmate D could participate in the Stanford Splash! program. Our little D is too young to participate this year, so we planned some other activities to keep him occupied. It was nice to borrow a daughter for the weekend!

The program is open to 7th through 12th graders, offering 14 class slots for kiddos to select a wide range of classes. R took everything from An Introduction to Neuroprosthetics to An Introduction to the Elvish Language. D was scheduled for a class about justice and one about religion. They both took a class about geology and one about earthquake engineering.

On the parent side of things, the registration process was arduous. Completely frustrating and ridiculously time-consuming due to crashing servers. But with a little bit of perseverance (read 'sheer stubbornness to triumph over the system') it  can be done.

The kids were understandably nervous. So we did several tech checks, making sure that all of our numbers were entered in all of the phones.

We practiced map reading and had them find their classrooms and come back to us. It's a good thing we arrived so early! They were still nervous and asked us to come find them at lunchtime. But when we showed up, they were happily munching on their pizza and burritos. They barely looked up from their plates and we definitely weren't needed.

At the end of the day, I picked up R and we still had an hour before D was done, so we hit the Stanford bookstore. He selected a Stanford hat. And though I wanted to shout 'Go, Bears!' at every corner of the campus, I happily paid for his 'Nerd Nation' Stanford hat. So proud of these kids and grateful for the opportunity to have them stretch their academic wings a bit.

I'll have another post about Day 2. There were a few more of their classmates in attendance. And I'll recap some of the things that D and R reported about the experience.