Tuesday, February 3, 2009

My Golden Boy

My son is GOLD.... or at least his research project is!

They recently had the annual "Project Fair" at school.... I remember these as Science Fairs when I was in school, but over the years they have morphed into a mix of research projects, heritage projects and the ever-rarer, true science displays. There were actually only 2, true "Science Projects" in his entire school.... I guess, over the years, fewer and fewer kids (read: parents) have been willing to go through the rigors of hypothesis, method and.... and whatever else a science project entails - so they've opened up some "softer" categories to keep the volume up at these school displays.

(And thank Goodness they have, because I'm SO not up for hypothesis, method and .... and whatever else that sounds like waaaaay to much work for me!)

Thankfully, my son chose to do a research project on fossils.

They actually make the parents sign a waiver saying that we give our kids permission to participate.... because, we all know, there's a lot of work involved in projects.

And I'm still trying to decide, at least at the elementary level, just who's responsibility all the work for these projects actually is.... I mean, what child in grade 3, 4 or 5 is actually capable of the hours of disciplined WORK needed to complete a project?

He had lofty goals of doing the internet research for his fossil project, but when you sit a 9 year old in front of a computer and hit "surf", it's not long before the boring reading involved with "how fossils are formed" quickly dissolves into watching youtube videos of dinosaur combat....

And so the "research" only happens with mom or dad in constant attendance - driving the searches and pointing out information that should be printed or saved for reference.

And putting the project together? Oh my. I felt like a slave driver.... "here, cut this out.... what color do you want this picture on? Are you going to use this or that? .... I don't CARE if you're bored - this isn't MY PROJECT!!"

Procuring the materials to build the Diorama, actually typing the words for the backboard, making the appointment to meet with the museum paleontologist regarding our "fossil" that he wanted to display.... these are all tasks that fall on the parent of the eager project fair participant.

But there's a lot riding on the kids too:

A huge part of the score with a project is the child's display of knowledge on their subject matter. The judges grill the kids.... seeking explanations of what various words mean, why they chose certain elements for their display, why they chose their project, what they learned... etc, etc, etc....

So we role-played questions, cleared up any confusion he had on various bits of information included in the display and crossed our fingers. Not that a ton of luck was needed for this particular child of mine.... I mean seriously - they're giving marks for talking?? He's so in. If there's one thing my son excels at, it's talking, hands down. Talking and talking.... oh, and did I mention he loves to talk? Good grief.

And so all his hard work paid off, and he proudly walked out of that gymnasium with a Gold ribbon AND and invitation to the regional project fair in April!

(which should be so much easier on all of us because the project is already DONE - thank God!)

1 comment:

cherrie said...

good work mom!!!
you must be so proud:)