I think it’s safe to say that I’m not a fan of the science project. Does this make me a bad mother? Perhaps, but so be it. It all starts out so innocently, with “Select a topic” but pretty much goes down hill from there. Oh yes, it all looks fun and games on paper, with cool experiments on colourful-eye-catching-kid-friendly-websites that are titled with names like “Science is Fun”. (I’m not that easily fooled) Yes, we live in hope that all will go smoothly, that is until the first slammed-down pencil and cries of “I can’t do this,” echo from the kitchen table, at which point the third grader simply leaves me alone to sob while asking dad for help. Unfortunately science is her favourite topic. I give it another year before I completely ruin it for her!
The arguments, confusion and the boredom of filling out boxes of information, drive me to the point where I’m completely done with all homework, schooling, and indeed learning of any kind; who needs education after-all, right? Ahhh, yes, imagine a world without science projects? Let’s just all dance about with the butterflies and live as one.
But alas, it’s Sunday night and the dreaded thing is due tomorrow. I wonder for a moment if I can send in a note saying we danced with butterflies instead, but decide to suck it up and be the adult.
*read all science books from library – check.
*search internet with adult supervision – check
*follow almost every step – check
*fill out the required areas on each of the 8 key questions – check, check, check.
*write rough draft – check
*write final copy (that looks exactly like rough draft) – check
*breathe a sigh of relief – check.
So she hands it in, gives her presentation and comes home unharmed.
She may not know how to make the poster board look pretty or care about the big words she doesn’t yet understand, but the fact is that she actually sees the world around her as one big endless science project. How do I know this? Perhaps it’s the measuring jug filled with unknown substances in the bathroom that I’m not allowed to touch for another 10 days, or the hose running a path of water in discovery of the most direct route to the chalk drawn finishing line. Maybe I know this because of the pulley system hanging over the shower rod, or simply when I spot the dog casually walk by with a balloon stuck to its side and the 3rd grader skipping behind saying excitedly, “huh, would you look at that static electricity!” Yes, I think to myself, against all odds, she does indeed dance with the butterflies after all.