Visiting the grandchildren is always a special treat. This weekend we took them to Ronks, PA in Lancaster County in the heart of the Pennsylvania Dutch Country. The destination was Cherry Crest Adventure Farm where they specialize in agri-tainment. The huge working farm is a big treat for kids — they can be entertained and also learn. They saw just born baby chicks, learned about various aspects of agriculture, and participated in a number of the more than fifty activities offered. I was impressed with the 180 solar panels on a gentle hill that supplies 90% of the energy of the entire farm. The highlight of the day was the amazing maize maze.
They call it the world’s largest interactive game. The maze has 2.5 miles of trails through more than five acres of corn. Along the way you can find clues to a crossword puzzle and stickers that go on a game board. If you find all the stickers you will see the path to get to the exit. The record is 31 minutes. The maximum was seven hours! This was a very creative deployment that had no flat panels, tablets, PC’s, or WiFi connections.
If you want to make it an even fuller day when visiting the farm you can take an excursion from Paradise, PA to Strasburg, PA on the Strasburg Rail Road, the oldest shortline coal burning steam train.
Another creative idea is wordle. A former IBM researcher had the idea to build software that converts text to an attractive mural. The software examines the text and determines how many times each word was used. It then creates a graphic image of the keywords from the text and each word is sized depending on how many times the word appears in the text. I created two wordles to give you an idea of what wordle does. Give it a try with some text of your own.
The Declaration of Independence
Chapter One from Net Attitude