Tuesday, May 5, 2009
Young Scientists. Sort of.
My children are fond of experiments. At the ages of six and three, however, they are somewhat ignorant of the scientific process. You know -- think up a hypothesis, develop an experiment to test that hypothesis, and use the results of the experiment to determine the validity of the hypothesis. Instead, they mix things and leave them to sit for an indeterminate time. Thus, in various locations around my house, I have: plastic cups with frothy mixtures of toothpaste, shampoo, and toilet paper; spare spice jars with sedimentary layers of cinnamon, parsley, peppercorns, and, maybe, mustard, all in water; and grass, mud, unknown substances scraped off the sidewalk, and caulk, again in a watery base. I love their desire to experiment but I think, perhaps, I need to get each child a lab book and teach them the basics of lab work. Of course, under the current system the kids forget about their experiments after a day or two and I can discreetly throw the entire container away.