We have only about 25 of the free Powers of 10 workshop kits left for schools! Please email firstname.lastname@example.org if you have a class, a school or a teacher in mind to host or lead a workshop. There are many helpful tips in the workshop booklet that comes with the kit. If someone asks me why does understanding scale matter and how does a workshop help, here are some of the reasons that I give:
1. Watching Powers of Ten film is important because when someone watches the film, he/she can see how the tiniest to the biggest things are connected by distance. Doing the Powers of 10 workshop gives examples of why those connections from the big (10+26) to the small (10-18) are important.
2. Understanding scale can help one make better decisions as a global citizen (100) about issues like food grown on farms (10+3), world population (10+10), industrial pollution(10+7), and modes of transportation (10+5) when doing something as simple as going to the market (10+2) and deciding what vegetables (10-1) to buy. Children at school are learning what the costs are both environmentally and financially when buying something – short term costs vs. long term costs.
3. Before one can fix a problem one needs to be able to understand the scope of the problem. Extending the boundaries of thinking from the infinitesimal (10-18) to the cosmic (10+26) by ‘scalestorming’ often reveals links between the different scales. By looking at a problem through larger powers of ten, one may see that the problem is just a symptom of a bigger problem. Or looking at a problem through smaller powers of ten, one may see the intricate connections that caused the problem in the first place and be able to find where something needs to be fixed. It is important in solving a problem to look in both directions! This is similar to how a doctor might view the flu virus (10-8) which has the potential to impact the population (10+6) and yet figure out how to prevent that from happening at an individual (100) level with giving a flu shot.
4. For schools, the Powers of Ten film is a great example of illustrating the orders of magnitude. For teachers, the workshop brings the scientific side out of the artist, and the artistic side out of the scientist. At libraries, the students can research issues with very big or very small numbers that they hear about in the news like millions of stock shares (10+6) traded daily, or global warming by one or two degrees (100). Maybe there could be a Powers of Ten Science Fair at school.
10/10/10 is the beginning of a very exciting next 1,000 days!