Arizona in the summertime. What could be better than a hike through the desert at 100+ degrees with tired and crabby 6 and 8 year old children? That’s what my wife and I decided to do on a recent vacation.
My feet hurt. It’s too hot. This is boring. There’s nothing to see. Can we go back now? On and on went the complaints until one very significant moment. I jokingly said to my daughter, “Come on, what could be better than hiking the Sonoran Desert?” And she stopped right in her tracks. “This is the Sonoran Desert?” she asked.
Suddenly she was interested and engaged. She started to pick up rocks, tell us about cactus, and even teach us about the desert. It hit me. She had studied the Sonoran Desert in first grade in a school in Massachusetts.
But now it was real and she was learning through hands on activities. She was able to take what was in her mind and reflect on what was in front of her. In other words, it became meaningful.
In our quest to better educate our children, providing meaningful learning opportunities might be the most important thing we can do. Why? Because it has been proven the more meaningful something is the more a person is likely to remember it. And, taking it a step further, if it can be remembered then it has a greater chance of being applied.
That is our philosophy with SAM Animation. It is not just about hands on learning, but rather meaningful hands on learning. Not everyone gets to take a stroll through the Sonoran Desert. However, everyone can work through a process that is meaningful to them to express what they know about such areas. Probably not such a good idea to grab a cactus or step on a rattle snake, however!