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Post #1 Science Project

I have two posts today, but the other one is a bit of a rant and I don't want it to overshadow this one. Miss E has finished a science project and has created a display and did so much of it herself. It blows the doors off of her rock project back in October. I'll be going over to school this afternoon to see it placed with the others, but here it is in all its glory:



She took a UV-sensitive frisbee and put sunblock on it and then exposed it to the sun. Her tests also established that this frisbee is ridiculously sensitive to UV. It turns full color on a sunny day in 1 minute. It even turns full color on a rainy day under light rain conditions, though it takes three minutes for that. That was part of the Mom aspect. I encouraged her to talk about its limitations as part of her writeup. She couldn't see why she should. I explained that no one has ever seen this frisbee before and it needs explanation. Weatherdude picked it up at a kick-off of the EPA's "Don't Fry" campaign. (No, I'm not making that up. http://www.epa.gov/sunwise.) Miss E did her own testing, didn't use the website for ideas. The parenting part of this was teaching her exactly what is involved in data collection and analysis when it's 'new' data. Not to mention writing down your observations so you can refer to your own notes instead of relying on your memory. (I do that too.)

And while Miss E is not a fan of black, she was the one who determined that it would make her project stand out in high contrast. Not to mention that no one else she knew of had thought of using black.

We're still working on organization and deadlines, in the sense of being her responsibility, not Mom's. Like I should talk. I was the queen of incompletes, even in college. Which, again, is why there's so much irony in my pushing her to make the deadlines and chop the project into doable steps.

Frog Out

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( 10 comments — Leave a comment )
affinity8
Apr. 29th, 2011 01:24 pm (UTC)
Very nice project! She should be proud of her hard work (as Mom and Dad are).

I never had an Incomplete, and I hate when my students ask for them :-)
birdhousefrog
Apr. 29th, 2011 01:29 pm (UTC)
I'd love it if she developed that attitude.

Oz
deliasherman
Apr. 29th, 2011 01:59 pm (UTC)
In re your last paragraph, I don't suppose it would do any good to point out that in Your Day (which was My Day, too) the idea of teaching study skills was inconceivable. If you were a Good Student, you magically had them. If you were a Poor Student, you didn't. If you were bright, you muddled along somehow, on inspiration and incompletes and maybe charm, or figured them out for yourself. My sense is that is still mostly what goes on, except in the classrooms of some visionary teachers and the homes of lucky children like Miss E, whose parents figured out about Doing One Thing At A Time and how to teach it to her.
birdhousefrog
Apr. 29th, 2011 02:12 pm (UTC)
You are too kind in your last sentence. Mommy is trying very hard to support what the school is trying to teach: good study habits, even if it goes against my nature. Because I recognize what they're worth, yes. I think your assessment is correct about back in the day. You were "good" or you were "poor" as a student, even if you were bright. Sometimes you could just fake it for years. The problems came when you finally needed the study skills, say for calculus, and didn't have them, or for a thirty-page paper in college.
deliasherman
Apr. 29th, 2011 02:40 pm (UTC)
I'm charmed and delighted that they're teaching her study skills in school. They still don't always. I learned One Thing At A Time when Mama threw all my stuff in the hall and threatened to pitch anything I didn't have put away by bedtime. Physically, the only way to deal with it was taking the top thing and putting it away and so on down the pile. At some point, I realized that school work could be dealt with the same way.

There's always the global moment of utter panic, though, when the project just sits there, huge, formless, and glowering, and I want to hide under the bed. Some times it's easier to find that first metaphorical shirt to fold than others.
birdhousefrog
Apr. 29th, 2011 04:10 pm (UTC)
That was my father that did the tossing. We used to stuff it in a bureau drawer or under our beds and he would drag it all out again. And I did learn to clean that way...to make a huge pile and tackle it one piece at a time. Though nowadays I try to make several piles so as not to be overwhelmed by a single one. At the office, I used to want to hide under my desk, so it's interesting that you're using the same imagery.

Find that first metaphorical shirt to fold. I like that.
raithen
Apr. 30th, 2011 05:53 am (UTC)
my stuff was all out on the front lawn.... In (meticulously cleaned) garbage cans.... ;). THe study skills I got, eventually, through patient parents and awesome teachers. I am still not the world's tidiest person, much to mom's chagrin. Unless it's my tack. I tend to keep my tack organized:)
raithen
Apr. 30th, 2011 05:53 am (UTC)
also: AWESOME science project :).
(Deleted comment)
birdhousefrog
Apr. 29th, 2011 04:15 pm (UTC)
It's eye-catching and she's tired, but proud of it. I'll see what some other kids did, but one of the boys she knows put four of his baby teeth in soda to see what would happen, would soda really rot them? There are a number of original thinkers in her class.
mindseas
Apr. 29th, 2011 04:34 pm (UTC)
Looks like a great display! Too bad she didn't have an opportunity to try the frisbee out at altitude, to see if it would turn even faster then. (The air was so clear in Los Alamos, and I've heard that the UV exposure is wore there.)
( 10 comments — Leave a comment )