I loved doing science projects. Despite my ultimate decision to focus a career on writing and editing, I was really good with, and enjoyed figuring out, science and math problems. I’m glad I enjoyed it oh so long ago, because it has come back into my house to "haunt" me. And here, I thought I was done with elementary school myself.
Turns out, I was just getting started. Each year my son begs and begs to enter the science fair. As he is only in first grade, what he says is “Mom, can you help me do a project?” What I hear is, “Mom, you have a science project to get done!”
This year’s big show was just last week. My son is very into “science,” more accurately at this point meaning blowing things up, seeing reactions, testing things – he loves the actual project.
He even learns from year to year. This is our second fair and he remembered what last year’s was about – the real lesson. We’d done a vortex in a bottle to teach him about the force of a vortex and how they are formed.
This year, he picked something even more fun. The good old Mentos in a Diet Coke bottle was a solid choice. We found a perfect site to learn about setting up our experiment, and gathered the goods. And by “we,” I mean 100% mom here. He was not up late at night "Googling" nor did he accompany me to the store to round up supplies. Mommy did that.
Mommy picked up a tri-fold board, the Diet Coke, extra mint and fruit Mentos. Then was the fun part. Shocker, he wanted back in on it.
We took advantage of the nice weather last week and set up on our driveway. In the words of my own son’s “results” he learned that “It was awesome!”
As expected, the pitted, rough surface of the Mentos and its sugars mixed quickly and produced a geyser of carbon dioxide fizzy mess. He loved it. I snapped pictures, he got to do the fun part.
In the end, I came back into the house, loaded and printed the photos, cut them all out, pasted them to a tri-fold board and walked my son through the Hypothesis. Results and Experiment Description were done by my son. He even wrote his name. It was big of him, right?
The next day he presented a project he was more than proud of. He won a certificate and got to gloat to all of his friends about how awesome it was. I was happy to make him proud.
I have to say mommy should have gotten the free ice cream treat. It’s the least he could do for all my hard work. Alas, another Science Fair down. I am really wondering how many to go? Is there a good age that THEY actually start doing the project instead of mom? I’ll keep hoping.