January 10th, 2013

planet

science for kids, best without kids

Last week I got together with two other women engineers to re-create some science experiments for our webpage. We had some of these up there from way back, but the pictures were like 180 pixel thumbnails, grainy awful jpegs that were probably cool in 1996 but I told the gals I wanted photos that were "pinterest worthy".

I brought my two-year-old, and my friend had her four-year-old, and what we learned is that "pinterest worthy" kids activities must not actually involve any kids when done for the photos.

The little girls wanted to play with the camera and take pictures themselves, that's obviously not going to result in nicely framed shots. They wanted to keep making play-dough "snakes" for our baking soda & vinegar volcano until it looked like medusa. They ripped a tissue paper hot air balloon before we could run a blow dryer in it and make it fly. Josie threw a tantrum because we were trying this layered fluids thing with different concentrations of sugar in water and I wouldn't let her guzzle the sugar water.

After two hours I knew way better than to try to magnetize a sewing needle to be a compass, and promised to just do the rest of the experiments in the safety of my basement.

It's great for kids to be involved in science. It's just that when your goal is a photoshoot, children make science... not pretty.

We are collecting more science experiments to post up though, so if you've run across any kid experiments that are new and unknown to you in the last few years I'd love to hear about them. We'll recreate them for SWE, maybe even have a booth for it at our big annual public expo. Definitely will post photos, minus the actual kids.