According to the National Park Service, around 2500 people attended this year’s Science Fest, and several hundred visited our tables to try out the Puzzle. You can see a few of those people in the photos here:
FYI – There was a sign near the event entrance warning visitors that cameras were around, and that they might be photographed. I thought the wording was rather vague, so I was careful to get consent before taking any photographs.
Overall, it was a good day – a bit cool and misty, but that was a big improvement over previous years, which were mostly very hot. We had all sorts of people at the event – tall and short, old and young, thoughtful, hyper, and so on. Most seemed to enjoy the Puzzle, though they did so in many different ways. Some people focused on finding solutions, some drew various sorts of natural objects, and some just drew what they wanted to draw – just because. I see that as a big win, as I very much wanted the Puzzle to be a flexible thing, something that players could use to make whatever they wanted to make.
I’m grateful to the friends and family who helped to transport chairs, tables, and other stuffs, and who stayed around to help staff the Mindful Mammoth booth. I feel a bit embarrassed that I didn’t organize a group photo of the bunch of us. That lack makes it a bit hard to give proper thanks. My only defense is that it was a busy day, and I just couldn’t quite keep track of it all.
I was particularly happy to see several friends from One Spark Academy. They offered encouraging words, looked happy to be outdoors and exploring, and I was happy to see them being happy.
I was also happy to meet several folks from from nearby environmental and outreach groups. We traded email addresses, and over the next few weeks, we’ll keep in touch, and see about working together to expand the scope of the Puzzle and to bring it to more SoCal classrooms and events.