Sometimes the result is not so important and the way to get there is much more interesting. At first glance, you see the "color tree in the daycare center"s "kinderzeit" area the work that went into it; even the director, elfi bienlein, admits that "it wasn"t an aesthetic art project." the children"s months of hard work, especially with the leaves and their materials, were rewarded with a prize in the "it works" technology competition?!".
"Our goal is to let the kids experiment and go their own way", explained stephanie votter from munich, the project manager of the competition organized by the bildungswerk der bayerischen wirtschaft (educational association of the bavarian economy). The fact that this guideline was taken to heart at the weismain daycare center was underscored by a presentation of more than 270 pages, with which elfi bienlein explained the creation of the "color tree" to parents and representatives from business and politics the picture show revealed how it all began before winter with the cutting of apple trees in the nursery garden, when the children wanted to use the branches for the new project; it showed how the children, experienced in building mud huts the previous year, switched to willow as a material – and then spent weeks decorating the finished tree next to the soccer hall with leaves. "Paper softens up", the 44 girls and boys realized by trying them out, even cardboard leaves couldn"t withstand the weather.
And so they made their own suggestions, which led to ever new materials: they learned how to use the hole punch to make leather leaves, those made of wood and iron led them to a carpenter's workshop and to a metal designer; when dealing with glass as a raw material, they got help from an optician and discovered that cullet is no longer sharp when it is boiled.
Children liked the project
The children also showed how much they liked the project during the presentation: they were allowed to comment again and again, and found it a pity, for example, that they couldn't hang real leaves on the branches because they were "broken after the winter, remembered talking with city archivist andrea goldner and district curator of local history gunter dippold about the formerly common house trees and their purpose, even knew that copper patinates in the air with time.
Of course, the staff helped here and there, but the "color tree", which was originally planned differently, is now in use has just developed in the way it can now be seen "because the children were given freedom and brought in their own experiences", elfi bienlein reported, not without pride. Her thanks went to the educational partners, braid designer and carpenter stefanie schreiber, optician andrea wittke-schneider "iron artist thomas limmer and markus petterich from the burgkunstadt company fischer. Weismain's second mayor gabi huber gave the project a reward for her eagerness to experiment, and helga fell from augsburg gave it a positive review. The elementary school teacher was a member of the competition jury, who was particularly impressed by the children of different ages trying out their own ideas, implementing them with sponsors on site, and working together.