At this year’s Miami International Book Fair, the Museum filled a tent in the Children’s Alley section with activities, storytelling, story writing, and even a huge tank of water where children could drive an underwater remotely operated vehicle. Each day we had a different theme – Friday was Environmental Science (Sea Turtle Bingo anyone?), Saturday was Space and Weather (just try to “launch” a ball through a moving hula hoop “target”), and Sunday was Chemistry and Nano Science (can you write a secret message using acids and bases?).
One of the big hits in the tent was our “Community Storytelling Project.” We would start off a story with one simple sentence, and we invited children that came into the tent to write the next lines in the story, one after the other (and even add an illustration if they wanted). By the end of each day, we had some amazing stories that would make even some Hollywood screenwriters jealous. Here are a couple gems from our community storytelling collection. The stories are re-typed below each photo:
Jupiter is my favorite planet. One day I want to go on a space adventure and travel to Jupiter. The ship will launch from America’s future base on Mars. It will be a loooong trip. I want to fly to Jupiter (not the one in Florida, like in the first sentence). I hope to see aliens!
There was an incredible rocket launch into space the other day. NASA is cool. The rocket went to the Moon and the Sun. We also saw 6 aliens! Slimy and small as ants they approached us. They offered atomic ice cream, it tasted like barf. So they spit it out and baby aliens came out of the ice cream when it melted in the crater hole. I jumped in the spaceship and flew as far as I could, but the aliens followed me. Then as I tried to zoom away back to Earth, the aliens threw lasers at me. Soon I called Mission Control for help. But then they got scared of the aliens. And then there was an asteroid that hit the aliens and the spaceship was safe.