It’s Not Rocket Science

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Changing your approach to the process of discovery

By Andrea Hill

I hated science fairs. I hated them when I was a child, and I hated them even more as a parent. It’s not that I hate science, but science fairs…ugh! The cardboard format (literally and figuratively), the rigidity, and the schedule all conspired to make my beloved science drudgery. So when it was my son’s turn to enter the ranks of science fair participants, I tried to delegate the responsibility to my oldest child. When that failed, I resigned myself to participation…and had a blast.

What changed? It was my son’s refreshing approach to the experience. Before this, he wasn’t particularly excited about science, but he was fascinated by the notion of doing experiments. By the time he and I convened at the kitchen table, he had already made two lists—the “boring” parts and the “exciting” parts, and he had a plan to get the boring parts out of the way.