In today’s Insider’s Look, let’s have a chat with the people who continue to think of ways to bring you fun and engaging hands-on activities at home through Mind S-Cool Workshops. Hear the challenges of doing workshops virtually and how the team overcomes them. They also share the inspiration behind the upcoming workshop Paskong Pinoy, where science and art come together to make your Holidays more exciting and aromatic.
We have been doing online workshops since the pandemic started, any notable experience or realizations in doing workshops and shows online?
Megan: Doing online workshops definitely has its own set of challenges. I particularly find it to be more challenging to connect with the kids on a virtual platform because it takes away some portion of the interactivity that we want when conducting workshops. But in doing these online workshops, I realized that there are different ways that we can compensate for this. In trying to find more fun activities that kids will enjoy even in a virtual environment, I realized it also became a “workshop” for us to think more creatively.
Alexandra: It is very encouraging to see the participants’ reactions of wonder as we are doing the workshops and to receive their feedback afterward. Despite being apart, it is heartening to know that we are still connected by our curiosity and love for learning.
We know that hands-on activities like workshops will always be better done in-person but the times call for us to be flexible and do them online. What's your favorite part in doing online workshops or a favorite workshop we did in the past year?
Aby: I definitely agree that workshops are better done physically! However, still being able to interact and mingle with participants over a virtual platform is better than not being able to interact with them at all. Getting to talk and do activities with kids spark joy like no other. I have so much fun hearing them share their stories and have them ask questions sparked by genuine curiosity over the activities we do. I think my favorite workshop so far would have to be the bubble painting one! It was definitely a challenge to conduct but hearing them talk about their works of art, sprinkled in with their personal anecdotes was the highlight of my day! Having that experience made me want to do it again and again!
Why is it important to continue doing hands-on activities and educational experiences for kids while they continue to stay mostly at home?
Natsumi: Childhood is one of the most important and interesting parts of a person’s life. This is the time where they play outside, discover new things and learn about the world. Not being able to go out must have deprived them of such opportunities. They can’t meet with their friends, visit museums, and even physically go to school. Having online workshops that channel their creativity and tickle their curiosity is one way of ensuring that they do not miss out on the world.
Rizza: We have always enjoyed hosting workshops in The Mind Museum. Seeing the kids explore our exhibits, hearing them ask & share the most random yet incredibly interesting questions & ideas, and witnessing them work on their experiments are just priceless. The pandemic may have halted our in-person workshop sessions, but it has not stopped us from bringing our engaging fun learning experiences into the homes of our participants. Through our online hands-on workshops, they continue to learn through play and realize that simple items they can find at home like a citrus fruit, cotton buds, paper, baking soda, and a heat source can already make invisible ink! In the time of “everything online”, we hope we can also bring fun reality into their lives in the comfort and safety of their homes.
Our last workshop this 2021 will be on December 18 and is called “Paskong Pinoy” where participants will be making kakanin-inspired bath bombs! What inspired the idea to combine these two seemingly very different things?
Natsumi: When the team was brainstorming for holiday workshop ideas, we thought of what Filipinos typically do during the Christmas Season. People simply go back to their hometowns to recharge and bond with their families. From that, we wanted to have a fun activity that is also related to self-care. What self-care item is more fun than fizzy and bubbly bath bombs, right? It is also very easy to make them yourself. Besides channeling your creativity, you also get to see chemistry in action- the perfect mix of art and science. After deciding on this activity, we wondered how we could make it unique and more relatable. We talked about how Filipinos cherish Christmas so much and ended up talking about our favorite Noche Buena food items. Mentioning kakanin such as bibingka, puto bumbong, and sapin-sapin brought up warm memories and cravings. With that, we thought that having bath bombs that look and smell like our favorite kakanin would also elicit positive feelings and make Christmas more special!
How do you and your family typically celebrate your Paskong Pinoy?
Natsumi: Every Christmas Eve, we always just stay at home and prepare food for Noche Buena. The main course changes every year but the dessert is always the same - buko pandan salad!
Megan: Our Paskong Pinoy celebration is very simple! We usually just eat together for Noche Buena and exchange gifts after that. Then we go out during Christmas Day to watch movies in the cinemas, go to the beach with our dog, or just drive around and see the Christmas lights in our hometown!
Aby: Before the Pandemic hit, I would usually attend Simbang Gabi with family or friends, wherever I was. Noche Buena has always been the highlight of my Christmas! Since I reached my late teens, I’d always be assigned to cook our midnight dinner to be served alongside our annual Christmas Ham and Queso de Bola! Come Christmas morning, we’d go to our relative’s house to eat, bond, and play games.
Rizza: For me, Paskong Pinoy is all about family, friends, and food! Pre-pandemic, as the ber-months hit, we’d plan for Christmas dinners, would think of our menu for Noche Buena, and I would start the quest to find gifts for my godchildren. Christmas celebrations may have changed in this time of the pandemic, but thanks to technology, we’re still able to spend time with our loved ones. But hopefully, we’ll get to safely celebrate together and in-person very soon.
Catch our Holiday themed science & art online workshop on December 18!
Hurry, slots are limited! Register now.