Wednesday, February 20, 2008

I Thought I Had Escaped It


I just got it today. My daughter got it when she was in the sixth grade. My 11-year old luckily escaped it this year in sixth grade. I thought I was going to be one of the lucky ones. No such luck. Today my 7-year old brought home "The Note" stating the requirements for my, I mean, HIS science fair project. I am NO scientist. I don't WANT to be. Yet somehow my son's science fair project will become MY science fair project.

I had my first experience with the science fair when my daughter was in 6th grade. Everyone was required to do it. Of course my daughter couldn't come up with an idea. I lied awake at night trying to think of something. Finally I said, "Why don't we do something practical, like testing different batteries to see which one works the longest? I know alkaline lasts longer than heavy duty. We could test different brands!"

My daughter took this idea and one other (of my) ideas to her teacher the next day to get one OK'd. The teacher didn't like either (of my) ideas. She came home from school and I asked her what her friend was doing. She painted each one of her fingernails with a different kind of nail polish to see which one stayed on the longest. (Basically the same idea as mine.) The teacher liked her idea. "OK, how about an something impractical, like see which curl mousse curls your hair the best?" Well, the teacher liked this idea. I didn't get it.

This year my son is in sixth grade. Guess what? They no longer are required to participate in the science fair! They decided that the kids weren't getting as much out of it as they had hoped. Really? I wonder why? It's pretty obvious how much "help" all the parents put into it (and spent on!).

My 7-year old has to make an animal that lives in the desert out of recyclables. We're even supposed to attend the science fair on a Saturday morning. What do the desert and recyclables have in common? I'm all about recycling. RECYCLING! Not collecting garbage that can be sent to the recycling center to be made into new products and taping, gluing, and painting it to just end up throwing in the land fill. I just feel like it's so much work compare to what he'll be getting out of it. I'm not an artist or a very crafty or creative person. Why not just find a picture of a desert animal, give the kids a large piece of paper, and paint an animal?

It's funny. I've been hearing a lot of you talking lately about helping your kids do their science fair project, some complaining (you know who you are), and I just laughed and thought, "I'm SO glad I don't have to do THAT anymore!". Now I'm not laughing anymore. I know, there probably are some of you who actually enjoy it. I'm just not one of them.

23 comments:

OHmommy said...

I'm so glad I don't have to do that (yet).

LOL. Is that better?

Kellan said...

Nope - me either! We haven't had a "serious" science project, but we have had our share of art projects and invention-convention projects to help our older girls with over the years. My husband usually gets nominated to help with most of these projects, except the SEWING one for art my girls had to do recently - guess who ended up SEWING two (from patterns and all) wedding dresses - ME!! I hate to sew and complained the entire time (3 days)! They turned out great - but ...

Have a great Thursday Maria - see you later. Kellan

Amy said...

I'm with ohmommy. My time is yet to come. I will wait it out and hope they do away with science by that time.

Kitty said...

How about some empty egg boxes .. cut up the 'cells' and string them together to make a desert snake?

We don't seem to have Science Fairs over here in the UK - I'm kind of glad! x

Deb in OPKS said...

Although our school district has a science fair, our elementary school does not officially participate. We could on our own, but I'm not hunting it down. My daughter loves science, so it's too bad they don't. But they have a science club she participates in. There are school projects that many parents do for their kids even though the kids are supposed to do it. I don't help (much) so sometimes my children's items are lacking but they did it themselves! My daughter has gotten really good at them and even had one kept by the teacher so she could use it for display in future years.

Summer said...

I was always the kid who eagerly anticipated the science fair. My parents bought me the supplies I needed and that was it. I refused to let them take over MY project. I'm sure I'll have trouble NOT doing a lot when my kids science fair projects come around.

Dawn said...

I wouldn't want to do that either. Good luck!

The Journey Begins Here said...

Oh, flashbacks of 7th grade...bad hair, bad clothes, bad student. I hated that science fair project. My idea was to play different kinds of music to 2 plants and see if they responded to heavy metal or classical. I don't even remember the outcome.

Of course I thought you were talking about getting something else. I don't look forward to that either. Thanks for stopping by and leaving those kind words. Theresa

My Ice Cream Diary said...

I have huge issues with every requirement of your son's project! (many of which you already mention) What are they hoping to teach them with this? Aw well, just take out a shoelace, let him color it and call it a snake. Egads this sounds like a silly project. Have fun =)

Amy said...

Hi, I'm responding to your comment.
I am reading "Gone" by Jonathan Kellerman. It is from the Alex Deleware series. Have you read any of them?

I just went to my Library website and reserved a copy of The Appeal. I will have to wait until 249 other people read it. Popular Book! It will be worth the wait, I love John Grisham.

Zoe said...

have fun with your science project. one year monte and i did one on germ transmission with confetti inside a ballon to show the spread when it popped...like as in a sneeze. the teacher freaked out because she thought we were going to use anthrax or something. duh.

Lester R.N. said...

I am glad I don't have to do that yet! I think I will make my husband do the science fair projects!! sorry I haven't been around I have been so sick!! Feeling better though!

Lizzy in the Burbs said...

Hi, Maria!

I guess I'm part of the "one of them" group, we just went through all that science fair stuff a month or so ago, and I hated every second of it! I am at a complete loss as to what recycled products and the desert have to do with each other??? Whaaa?? Who comes up with this stuff anyway? (I'm thinking some 22 year old teacher who hasn't had kids yet, that's who!) :-)

Good luck to you, I hope it's easy!

Lizzy

kidzmama said...

The science fair at our house is a team project. Kid thinks up idea, mom gets all supplies, dad helps with science part, and mom helps make it all pretty. It's worked every year. BUT we need a lot of advanced notice.

Nan Patience said...

My kids' school seems to have backed away from the science fair. My husband was the science fair go-to person, anyway. It's not that I don't like science, and I actually went to a specialized math & science high school. It's just that I don't do school work with my kids. I might be available to answer questions, and I'm certainly available to look at report cards, but I don't do the school work. The ideas: their job. The work: their job. The research: their job. The assembly: their job. The presentation: their job. Carrying the thing on the bus: their job. See? I already did all this. I don't do it now for them. If they can't do it, then they can't do it, and that's good for the teacher to know. If they're not motivated to do it: that's good for their teacher to know. (This is why they go to their dad...)

Karen MEG said...

You sound just like me! My son has had two major projects this year, and I've gotten more stressed with each one. He had to make an invention out of at least two simple machines, and I so sucked at physics! He's only in Grade 2 ... I am so stressed about his/my school future LOL!
Very cute post. Glad I'm not alone!

Kila said...

Oh, I so totally dread those projects! I'm not very good at them, my poor kids!

Irene said...

Don't you know that it is very important for the parents to be involved in their child's education? (Insert just a tad bit of sarcasm here)

Seriously, I hated any projects like this when I was kid. I am sure I will be of no help to my own kids.

But honestly, it is supposed to be the KID'S project so when the idea is actually from the adult, it just defeats the whole purpose. Right?

Crazy.

Burgh Baby's Mom said...

You needed to have done that battery experiment; I would really like to know the outcome. The teacher might need smacked around for preferring hair mousse to that one, though. I mean seriously, the batteries were a MUCH better idea!

I never had a science fair growing up. I sort of hope Alexis does, because really, I want to know about the battery thing. ;-)

Steph said...

My day is probably coming for this, and I'm not looking forward to it. Though my daughter just did a report on an animal in school and she got an A+ and did the whole thing by herself! Maybe it wouldln't be MY science project after all...and then again....

Becky said...

Oy...and not just Science Fair projects, but Family Tree projects, California Mission Projects, big Reports, and Young Author's projects...

And let's not forget that if you help the kids to 'pretty things up' too much, the teachers file it away that someone in your kids household is artistic, and at the next school play, the'll beg you to paint props. It never ends! Ugh...just when we thought our school days were behind us, too!

SuburbanCorrespondent said...

What shocks me the most these days is the expectation schools have that parents be heavily involved in their children's homework. My parents never saw even one page of my homework. Yet, if it hadn't gotten done, they would have heard about it! The schools are making the homework the parents' responsibility, which teaches the kids nothing about being responsible for their assignments, etc.

Your poor son - mine wouldn't have heard the difference between br and bl either....

Shellie said...

Yeah, I just helped a very reluctant boy to do his a week or so ago. I did the minimum possible since he was not into it. Then he was bummed he didn't get a prize. What did he expect for his 0 effort? SO we went to the district fair and looked at the good projects to help him have an idea about what a good project is. Hopefully he will be excited about it and not need so much help next time. It is MY project to get him to learn to do his, and it is NOT fun yet.