I know that someday you'll find better things.

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Science Fair

The science fair tri-fold boards are on display at the elementary school, and they look great-- they really do. Many of the topics the kids have chosen are fascinating and far-out. Even the "close to home" ones are pretty cool. Although I only saw them in passing, a project studying methods to yield the biggest soap bubble and something involving popcorn popping temperature were two of my favorites.

Later that afternoon as I went out to turn off the hose to the pool, I had an idea for a "close to home" science fair project called Does Our Pool Have a Leak?

The explanation of the problem practically writes itself!

My mom is convinced that our pool has a leak. She says that nobody should have to run the hose water into the pool for three hours every week (even in the winter!) and that we probably have a major problem. My dad says evaporation is a normal part of the water cycle. He says it is really expensive to get a pool repair company involved, and he thinks we should wait until we are absolutely certain there is a problem before we hire professional help.

Wouldn't that be awesome? We could use a school assignment for something practical and immediately useful in real life. Two for the price of one.

I smiled all afternoon just thinking about it.


When I picked up the kids from school, the first thing Mia said was, "Mom! I've been thinking about ideas for the science fair for next year."

"That's so weird. I have, too!" I said. "How would you like to find out if our pool has a leak? Wouldn't that be fantastic?"

"I guess so, but I was thinking more about space. Maybe we could do an experiment to discover how many oxygen molecules there are in our solar system."

"I, um, I'm not really sure about that one. Uh. Hmmm. Well..." How long could I stammer before she'd put an end to my misery?

"That's okay, I already have a back-up plan. What if we studied the electrical wiring of our house and how the electricity gets transpor-tated from room to room? We could draw a big map of all the circuits and connections-- WAIT! Even better, we could build a model of our house and use actual circuits to show everyone how it works..."

She kept talking about it for at least another five full minutes, with that passionate enthusiasm that only seven-year-olds and caffeine addicts can muster.

I tried to hide my disappointment as best I could, but I was really bummed out about abandoning the pool plan. 

Oh, we'll still conduct an experiment to get to the bottom of the leak.

But now it appears we'll be doing some construction and circuitry work next winter, too.

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