Monday, March 21, 2011

science fair memories

Sunday night I went to bed with excitement in my head. I was excited to do something where I used my brain. I was excited to relive part of my past. I was excited to judge science fair projects.

I had such a blast today. I was in a bit of a rush getting through it all to get done and home before Bryan had to leave for work at 3:30. He was at home with the boys today after their fevers yesterday. Even in rushing, I loved it. I loved talking with 7th and 8th grade kids about science experiments that they had performed. I hope all of them fall in love with science even if they don't win anything. I hope they all do it again and come back next year.

I judged 12 physics and astronomy projects by junior high kids at the Minnesota State Science Fair. All of the kids had already been selected from regional science fairs to compete at the state competition. So these kids, for the most part, knew what they were doing and talking about. Of the 12 kids I talked with, 11 of them did a great job. One kid did not want to be there. He had been required to do a project at regionals. He read notecards to me and never wants to do this again. That is too bad but he seemed to know that he was good at working with his hands so hopefully that is his take-away from this experiment. I don't know who will win but the awards will be given Tuesday morning.

After I got home, I told the boys all about it. It was hard for them to understand what a science fair is. They saw a 30 second clip on the news this morning before I left so they knew where I was going and what the place looked like. I dug around in our storage bins and found pictures of me at science fairs in 10th, 11th and 12th grades. (Jaden cared much more about the awards than the pictures. J-"Can I have your ribbon?"... Me-"No, you have to earn awards like that.") Those were some important events in my life. That helped me realize I was good at science and math and good at giving a presentation. I won lots of awards but never made it to the International Science and Engineering Fair (ISEF), which is the ultimate award to compete internationally. Science fair gave me confidence but also made me realize that I was not the best. I have been frequently reminded that I am not the best and it keeps me humble.

Ahhh, the science fair memories...they live on.

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