I'd like to repsond to Cathy Brady's "I sure hope that person tells us what he/she DID," provided I am "that person."
The program with which I am involved is a long-standing annual campus-wide event designed for fifth graders. It's called Fabulous Friday and takes place on a friday in April. Approximately 25 university departments participate in day-long enrichment activities.
This year the math department will be working with 15 students. Various faculty members will be conducting activities on a variety of topics including nomographs, Napier's bones, tessellations, computing with base-two logarithms, the Mobius band, infinity, and computer games and demos on our NeXT system.
Perhaps a few clarifying points should be made. First, the students choose the department in which they'd like to spend the day. We are not going into fifth-grade classrooms and "forcing" advanced topics on children. The students are generally very inquisitive and interested in math topics different from those they see on a daily basis. Second, the idea is not to "tell them all about" anything. The activities are designed to be interesting, accessible, open-ended and about mathematics. By the way, although we are university mathematics faculty, no one is likely to "botch" the teaching job. Finally, I appreciate the extremely helpful responses to my question concerning the types of activities this age group finds stimulating and fun. I am conducting the session on infinity and will be happy to post a report on what I did and how it went next week.