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YOKOSUKA, Japan – Yokosuka Naval Base looked like Munchkin Land on Friday with students from three Defense Department elementary schools traveled running all over the base for the 10th annual Multiple Intelligence and Me day.

Elementary students from Ikego and Negishi joined with the Sullivans School students during MIME day, which is based on the work of Dr. Howard Gardner, a Harvard cognition and education professor. Gardner’s Theory of Multiple Intelligences states that humans have many different ways of learning and processing information, which are relatively independent of one another. He believes there are eight categories of intelligence which include kinesthetic, naturalistic and interpersonal.

“In school, we teach the kids reading or language and math in school most of the time,” said Steve Parker, fourth-grade teacher at the Sullivans School and MIME day coordinator. “Today is about exposing the kids to these other ways to be smart. Then they’ll have their whole lifetime to figure this out.”

The event ran all day and included classes on music, dance, skateboarding, traditional cooking, tea ceremonies, rock climbing and even slack rope walking. There were also performances by the Navy band, the Sushi Rollers roller derby team and a Japanese pop group called the Exploding Strawberries.

“We had 54 presentations this year and more than 250 presenters. There are high school students, professional groups; we even have some military working dogs, ” said Parker.

Volunteers and presenters were treated to a 150-dish potluck lunch before returning for their final sessions with the kids.

“MIME day is something that’s now associated with our school. These kids are not going to get this experience anywhere else in the world,” Jeff Sparling, a third-grade teacher at Sullivans said.

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