Although the climate in the state of Puebla is significantly cloudier and rainier than where I live, I packed up my solar oven and took it with me to a science fair this weekend in a small community there. The fair was organized by another Volunteer for the children and parents at the school where she has been teaching and helping several times a week. My station with the solar oven was more for the parents to see the technology than for the kids. However, I don’t think my barely cooking cake was very impressive to anyone. Still, I gave my spiel and had some interested people hang around and get all the info. The day was very cloudy after rain in the morning. A few times during the day the sun tried to break through the clouds and my oven warmed up enough to convince people of its potential power. However, by the end of the day, all I had was thoroughly half-cooked cake.

I think all the other stations did very well, not even just in comparison. Next to me was the perpetually mobbed flower-pot making station. The mothers first and then the kids couldn’t get enough of decorating recycled containers into flower pots. The center where some Volunteers work, including the organizer, brought their “small” science trailer with all sorts of demos, and a portable planetarium. There were also stations to make bird masks, volcanoes, geometric paper forms, Picasso-inspired paper plate decorations, learn about cultures from around the world, get your face-painted, and learn about healthy diet choices. It was an exhausting day, but the kids had a blast. The school will never be the same for all the glitter, and I don’t envy the remaining clean-up job in the library, but I’m glad I could go and help out.

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