Reflecting on the National Geographic documentary with a of a bunch of 6 - 9 year olds
Photo Source: Charlein Garcia (Unsplash)
“Okay, are we ready?” I ask my class of 6 - 9 year olds as I hit the play button on my screen. In the next 44 minutes or so the class is taken to the jungles of Africa where conservationists are blazing the trail to encourage young girls to stay in school so they, too, can help their communities someday; we are taken to the depths of the sea where a group of marine biologists and oceanographers prove to the world that mermaids are real and they do more than sing and look pretty; and we’re even taken inside the lab where the biochemist known for her pioneering work on CRISPR talks about a world we only thought existed in sci-fi shows/movies.
They are all women. And they live in the same world we live in today. To be able to celebrate them along with the millions (maybe even billions) of women out there making an impact in their own ways with a bunch of lower elementary students is truly priceless. Along with the “oohs” and “ahhs” from the class, you kind of sense something also stirring inside them, especially within my little girls.
As the end credits started to roll and I stopped sharing my screen, I noticed their tiny hands started to shoot up. I think of those tiny hands and what they could do for the world. The thing is, I wasn’t the only one thinking of that at that very moment. I call a 6-year old and he tells me that it was a long film but he enjoyed it because he was able to eat his snacks while watching. Then one of my 9-year olds excitedly shared what she felt while watching. She said she couldn’t choose which one she wanted to be because there were so many choices for her, but she definitely wanted to do something related to the sciences. In her mind, she could be absolutely anything!
That student of mine struggles with Math, but she doesn't dislike it at all. In fact, she would often ask for extra work so she can practice some more. She knows she needs it if she wants to end up like one of those women she saw in the film. It’s amazing what a little spark can do to set something ablaze like that inside a little girl. You see, maybe sometimes we don’t realize it, but we can be a woman of impact, probably not directly to the world, but maybe to someone who might be. As Toni Morrison so perfectly put it, “If you have some power, then your job is to empower somebody else.”
“Okay, are we ready?” I ask the world as we wait for what our empowered children of today can become tomorrow.
Trailer to Documentary: https://youtu.be/9LTwJLtlBTA