With all the flurry of activity we’ve been experiencing the past few weeks, its nice that we’re finally feeling a sense of normalcy in our lives. Well, as much as one possibly can while living in a home you’re trying to keep perfect.
Gabriel is entering the science fair at his school this year. We gave him several choices of projects, and he decided that he wanted to make static electricity. It was really quite cute, initially, he wanted to make lightening bolts, but I was finally able to talk him down into a simple experiment rubbing an object on different materials to see if static electricity was produced. What fun.
Parenthood is full of surprises, most of them very pleasant ones fortunately.
Gabriel totally got into his science project. I was concerned that it would be too tedious after a while, but he amazed me not only with his enthusiasm, but also his interest in the entire process.
In my effort to keep things simple and age appropriate, I may have underestimated Gabriel’s enthusiasm. And it was awesome to watch him. We talked about the steps of a science experiment, including creating a “hypothesis.” And, let me tell you, there is very little in this world more adorable than a five-year old using the word “hypothesis” in the correct context. He totally understood the concept and loved making his hypothesis.
So, he took four different objects – a silicone spatula, metal spoon, wooden rolling pin, and helium balloon – and rubbed those objects against different materials – aluminum foil, plastic bag, construction paper, denim, faux fur, felt, satin, some fancy polka-dot fabric, and another fancy gold butterfly fabric. It was a hoot.
First, we established his “hypothesis” for each object for each material. Next, we tested each object with each material. Then he would record his results. The hardest part was getting him to reach a “conclusion.” But, it really worked out well.
After doing the experiments, we created his display board for the science fair. This is where I may have tried to help too much. I figured he’d tire quickly of writing out all sorts of big words. So I helped establish the format and let him trace the words and do what he wanted with them there. He totally got into it, and wanted to write “hypothesis.” However, at the end of the days (we did this over a couple of days) his interest in writing the big words waned (as I offered to cover up the stuff we did together and let him write it himself, and he said, no it was “okay.”). So, it worked out well.
I still am so pleased with his development and interest in doing the science project. It was fun, he was engaged during the process and really did all the work himself with only a little direction from us. And, it is truly rewarding to see him blossom and enjoy doing the work himself. And who knows, but I highly suspect he’s the youngest kid in the school who did a science project for the fair. That’s pretty cool in my book.