I came across a story linking to this cool kid's science video this week:
I think I am one of those girls that is missing whatever it is that they have determined makes many females less interested in, and adept at, science (and math). As an adult, I have a better appreciation, and knowledge of, scientific and mathematical principals. Maybe if there had been a cute science nerd in my formative years, I would have done better, instead I had crusty old lady science teachers with shady pasts that included rumors of explosions and science experiments gone wrong to explain away their various scars, limps, and crotchety demeanors.
While I better understand and appreciate science today, I still lack any driving interest in it. This translates to an annual parental-coma-like state known as Science Fair season. I do not like it. I do not have good ideas, I do not appreciate the burden put on parents, I do not like to harangue my children for 4 months to get something done. It is especially insulting that the final push before the due date coincides with Christmas break. That should be family time, not marathon work sessions with Science Fair partner time.
Boom shares a similar dislike for Science Fair. She muddled through the years it was required for her and never looked back when she hit the 'optional participation' years. I think part of her problem was that she did a really cool project in fourth or fifth grade, one that she enjoyed, put a lot of time, effort, and thought into, and got no return on her investment. It was one of the more memorable years for heavy parental involvement projects winning awards. And Boom took away all the wrong lessons from that experience.
I know that the projects teach kids about the scientific method, as well as important lessons in planning, time management, and which carpet cleaner works best. Can't that be done during class?
The projects that I think would be fun the school won't approve - we've discussed many psychosocial scenarios. Both leaving a wallet out and seeing if it gets returned to the office, and a Pavlovian sort of experiment involving chocolate and training siblings to do chores for one another were turned down when Boom proposed them. (Current SF rules require informed consent of all human test subjects!) I think this is a riot:
My disdain for the Fair is going to haunt me. Yesterday was the Big Day at school, and Bang and his buddy have now advanced to the Regional Fair. Great. Another day out of MY life for this stinkin' thing. Maybe next year he could do a project to find my missing Science Fair give-a-crap gene.