What I've Been Reading Instead of Cleaning My House

Friday, January 30, 2009

Science Fair Follies

This past week was our elementary school's science fair. Being the good PTA member (and evil wife) that I am, I volunteered Nigel to be a judge all three days. Just to be fair, I was a judge for one day, too.

As you would expect, there were tons and tons of magnet displays, analysis of various microwave popcorn brands, and way too many "how to grow crystals" projects. Come on, people, did you all read the same "101 Science Fair Projects" book? What about the other 98?

My favorite one was this cute little girl who did hers on how cats and dogs would react when seeing themselves in a mirror. She had a large animal cage that was covered in mirrors that she would stick the animal in and then record what it would do. Very original, clever, but the best part was this "behind the scenes" story that she told me:

"Yeah, the cage is really neat, but it's hard to open. See, this latch sticks. I know that because I crawled in it and then couldn't get it open. We had to call the police."

I was a little confused. The latch wasn't THAT complicated. I asked, "Why did you have to call the police? Couldn't your mom open it?"

She replied, "Oh, I was locked in it in our car and my mom had locked her keys in the car, too. The police had to come to get the car open and get me out."*

Wow! I can just imagine what the police were thinking. What kind of a ticket do you get for that?

*Disclaimer: I found out from talking with the mother that this is not exactly how it happened. Yes, she did lock herself in the cage while her mother was running a quick errand in the store and yes, her mother did lock herself out of the car, but she just threatened to call the police. The little girl managed to get out of the cage and unlock the car for her mother. Personally, I like the little girl's story better.