MINOOKA — More than 200 families attended Minooka Intermediate School’s fifth annual Family Learning Night on Thursday, April 11. This year’s theme was “A Night Under the Stars,” so students and their families explored astronomy, as well as the wilderness.
Families were able to choose from 15 astronomy and wilderness-themed activities. One of the students’ favorite activities was creating a fossil caste. Students had to follow directions to carefully complete their experiment.
Another popular activity was camping survival, in which families had to determine which survival items were most essential if ever stranded in the wilderness. Students also had the chance to put their creativity on display, as they created nature paintings and dream catchers.
Families were also treated to a few special presentations that focused on astronomy and the wilderness. Professor Art Maurer of Joliet Junior College helped students examine the solar system. He also gave families some helpful tips on how to choose the best telescopes.
By far the most talked about event of the evening was the presentation given by Big Wolf Run Ranch owner John Basile. John shared five of the ranch’s most popular creatures: a skunk, a woodchuck, a porcupine, a coyote and a wolf. Families learned about how the animals were rescued, as well as tips on how to keep other animals in the wilderness safe.
Upon finishing activities, students entered a raffle to win prizes donated by local businesses. Families won meal deals to McDonalds, The Shrimp Barn, Fat Boyz Pizza and Stuff, and TCBY. Also raffled off were passes and gift certificates to Haunted Trails, Raging Waves, Skateland, Family Video and CPX Paintball Park.
Students were treated to McDonald’s ice cream sundaes, which were purchased by the Minooka Intermediate School/Junior High School Parent Teacher Organization. The Minooka Intermediate School Choir also dazzled the Family Learning Night audience with a performance of “Fireflies.”