From brownies to zombies: Kids’ Convention offers range of learning

Published 1:01 pm Monday, January 23, 2017

NORTH SHELBY – Oak Mountain Intermediate School’s Kids’ Convention for Gifted Resource Class students offered a dizzying array of learning experiences, as fifth grader Drew Sears discovered.

“I was baking brownies in the first class, and now I’m making zombies!” Sears exclaimed…and he had yet to begin his third session, where he would make slime.

Kids’ Convention was held Friday, Jan. 20 at OMIS.

There were three 55-minute time slots, and more than 200 GRC students chose from 29 class options.

The classes focused on topics including chess, acting, cupcakes, karate and dissecting a cow’s eye.

“The Kids’ Convention is a fun-filled activity for GRC kids,” said Ashley Richardson, who organized the event with fellow GRC teachers Michelle Dunning and Paula Tolbert. “It was designed to offer GRC students an exciting learning experience outside of the regular school week.”

The teachers in the classes were all community members and not school employees, organizers said.

In the Louisiana Lagniappe class, students learned the basics of making a roux and other “Cajun necessities” from Becky Bueche and Ashley Van Beek.

Meanwhile, in the Super Bowl Snacks class, students prepared crowd favorites including buffalo chicken dip, queso dip and chocolate peanut butter bars with Montel O’Connor.

“This is the best thing I’ve ever tasted,” fifth grader Gerardo Hernandez said about the chocolate peanut butter bars.

Bill Allen helped students paint zombie board game pieces, and Chad Kendrick taught students about catapults and then tested the contraptions by seeing if the students could hit a target drawn on a blackboard.

Todd Howatt and others from Maximum Physical Therapy showed students some basic exercises and timed them on an obstacle course.

Other classes focused on robotics, building towers, the Monopoly game, the assassination of former president Abraham Lincoln, Groundhog’s Day, making mobiles, the French language, bioengineering, arranging flowers, electricity, balloon sculpturing, origami, fitness, chicken farming, global warming and aviation.