Saturday, June 21, 2014

6/21/14 Arrival in Oslo

We arrived in Oslo around 8:20 in the morning. Upon exiting the airport we had a 45 minute bus ride to the city. I first noticed the trees. This landscape is similar to New Hampshire. Very deep green in color, there were fir and birch trees lining the sides of the road. The blasted sections of the road highlighted the rock that had to be carved out in order to create the roads.

The city of Oslo is home to the King and Parliament and we had the chance to see some of the beautiful architecture on our ride from the airport to the hotel. Once at the hotel, we decided to catch up on some needed sleep before our tour of the city. On the tour we visited the famous Vigeland park that displays the life work of Gustav Vigeland. The sculptures were arranged in a way that you felt you were walking through the history of his life and work. A bridge of sculptures let to a fountain that told the story of life and death and then we walked the final steps to the monolith of 121 figures struggling to reach the top.

We also toured the Fram museum where the historic Fram boat is on display and visitors can tour the insides as well as observe the engineering feat that allowed a boat to rise above the ice rather than be crushed when the ice froze.

As a result, I have begun developing my first engineering challenge for students based upon the story of the Fram. I would like them to develop a ship that can withstand the hardships of a trip to the Arctic. I may give a piece of the story to them before the challenge and then complete the story when they have completed their testing. How to test a LEGO boat? I think I will need to come up with a way to squeeze the boat in at the sides. Whether LEGO is the best tool, not sure? The other strategy might be to show the students the arches that were created in the interior of the boat and ask them to think about how arches are used in everyday engineering challenges. A LEGO arch would be a very cool thing to construct and a strong LEGO arch might be even more challenging.

 Across the road from the FRAM museum was the Thor Heyerdahl Kon-Tiki Museum. Although we did not have time to go inside, the museum is host to Thor's ships he used to cross the Pacific as well as Easter Island artifacts. Thor wanted to prove that earlier cultures could cross the ocean in simple boats made of reed so he built his own reed boat. If I ever come back When I come back, I will need to come here. Since I was a little girl, I have had a fascination for ancient cultures and exploration. I wanted to be an archaeologist before I became a teacher. Egypt was my first fascination and I managed to get there in college though a Semester at Sea. ...And now I prepare to explore a part of the world I never dreamed possible; following in the footsteps of explorers like Amundsen and Nansen but without the hardships.

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