I didn’t used to think I was a competitive person. And honestly I’m still pretty much not. I think it’s related to not being a perfectionist, the two seem to go hand in hand. However, sometimes my kids bring out my dormant competitive streak.
Both my kids love the science fair. I do too. It’s fun to do a project and learn about something new, and as long as you start in advance it’s usually not too stressful. So Josh, Anna, and I started brainstorming back in March. I had to provide a little direction. Anna’s first idea for a question was, “How do our spirits get into our bodies?” That one would be a little difficult to use the scientific method on sweetie, but A for effort. Josh’s initial idea was testing out different pinewood derby cars – adjusting their wheels, where the weight sits etc. Which I thought was a decent idea, just a lot of work… but then Dad came home and put the kabosh on it. “Josh didn’t you just learn all of that when you were building your car?”
“So would you be learning something new?”
“Isn’t that the point?”
Dang it! That one’s still in reserve for another year maybe.
We finally settled on:
Do you get the same colors when you mix different colors of light together as when you mix different colors of paint together? for Anna – which is awkwardly phrased but the best we could do. and….
Which shape is least visible to radar?/Can you make something invisible to radar? for Josh
Both were super fun to do, involving a lot of flashlights.
These are the only pictures I got of Josh, actually doing the experiment..and Hallelujah he can type now, so it’s not quite so torturous to write everything up. The only picture I got of Anna was of her looking super nervous to talk to the judges (top).
Anna placed 2nd! Yahoo. She was excited. I walked down to the school to meet them coming home because I was so nervous. They just announce the winners on the loudspeaker at the end of the day and I just didn’t know what to expect, “both crying? one excited and one crying? both excited?” On the way down to the school I had a bunch of neighborhood kids tell me about Anna, but no one mentioned Josh, my heart sank a little bit…
Josh didn’t place. WHAT? I was so surprised. I thought his experiment was so original and he knew everything about it. He was OK with it and was super sweet to Anna though.
Later that night we headed back to the school to pick up their projects and check out everyone else’s. And I discovered…. The kid who beat Anna did…. “What color of M and M is the most common?” and the 2nd grader that took first did, “Which popsicle melts the fastest?” I was so mad. Justin had to talk me down a little bit. Luckily I got these texts from my friends and family as I vented. I could only vent to people out of town, since I wasn’t completely sure who had done the other projects….
“‘The judges must not have been able to understand Josh’s project.”
“The judges must have been related to someone… we must check out family connections.”
“What popsicle melts the fastest!? That makes me think of Brian Regan’s sketch about “a cup of dirt”.
“$100 they thought you did it for them.”
“I would have given him a blue ribbon.”
Ahh I feel better now.
As I mentioned both kids were totally fine with everything. Josh and Justin did analyze the winning projects though, so we can be prepared for next year….