Students and Parents Connect at Curiosity Convention


The Long Beach Public Schools hosted a Curiosity Convention on the evening of May 22, during which parents and students were presented with many opportunities to put their minds together and engage in learning activities and strategies that can be taken home. An assortment of workshops featured informative sessions as well as interactive projects that focused on inquiry, discovery, social emotional learning, STEAM, literacy and much more. The goal of the evening was to support parents in their efforts to cultivate children’s natural curiosity and extend learning beyond the school day.

The Curiosity Convention, held at Lindell School, was a shift in approach to the Parent Academy events that the district held in previous years. This year, the program was enhanced and expanded to involve elementary school students along with parents, allowing families to learn together and experience new techniques for fostering curiosity beyond the classroom. Administrators and teachers representing all four elementary buildings led the workshops.

“We believe that it is important to cultivate an inquisitive attitude in our students,” said Superintendent of Schools David Weiss. “The Curiosity Convention helps our parents learn new strategies to continue this approach at home with their children.”

Sessions included the Thick Question Game: Asking Challenging Questions; Kaboom! Magical Science; Wonderopolis: Wonders of Learning Never Cease; Wonder Surrounds Us: Cultivating Habits of Discovery; Bridges to Inquiry: Design and Build a Bridge; Self-Management Strategies: Improve Self-Awareness Through Wonder, Curiosity and Engagement; Exploring Math Challenges Through Inquiry and Discovery; Six Little Ways: Creating Curious Readers Using “Notice & Note” Signposts; Window: Using Wordless Books to Promote Wonder and Straw Rockets Are Out of this World.

Students and their parents worked together to explore chemical reactions through science experiments, construct paper origami sunglasses, express imagination through wordless book analyses, develop vision boards for goal-setting and time-management and create sensory boards by integrating social emotional learning and inquiry, among several other activities. The program presenters explained the ways in which the featured practices support enrichment, wellbeing and life-long learning.

“It was wonderful to see the smiles and excited faces on both parents and children as they left the workshops,” said Sean Murray, Director of Elementary Curriculum. “It had our intended effect of helping parents extend their children’s natural curiosity and wonder so as much learning can take place at home as in our schools. Parents asked me for more evenings like this.”