The Big Brothers and Big Sisters pairs worked so hard on creating their individual parts for the entire solar system imagined by the group. Then kelsey and i made a "Sun" from recycled bicycle rims. The day of the festival some of the kids were able to join in and demonstrate the dynamic interaction of the system for the community, though some of the kids couldn't make it so we grabbed some children from the festival and had them serve as stand-ins so the planets and asteroids, and moons could all be put into action.
One of the difficulties we have faced over the years is the difficulty of getting all of the kids to be at the festival for a final performance. Last year we had about 2/3 of the group show up for the puppet show which was amazing. This year we had less than half. We have taken a couple steps to try to address this. One is we always do a filmed dress rehearsal during our last meeting as a group prior to the festival so that all kids get the full performance experience and we can document that. Another angle we are considering for the coming year is a project that can be shared more completely with or without the student present. We are thinking about making short stop motion animation films this year so that the films can be shown at the festival whether or not the child is able to attend. Also we could have each child write an artist/scientist statement that could be shared alongside their project.
It was another great year working with Butler County Big Brothers and Big Sisters and we can't wait to get back with them in February!