Monday, February 6, 2012
Best Science Fair Project EVER, and How I'm Like a Navy SEAL
My daughter's science fair is tonight (That's not her project, by the way). She did a good job, all by herself, with only minimal help from me...I was a test subject, and we now know that my heart rate is not affected by classical music.
Allow me to share the story of my own science fair project. I was in the ninth grade, and I wanted to examine the effects of water pollution on wildlife. I bought three goldfish, and put each one in a different jar.
I poured motor oil in one jar, and laundry detergent in another. The third was my control.
Interestingly, it took the motor oil fish a few days to die. I hypothesized that it was lack of oxygen that killed him, rather than acute toxicity, as in the laundry detergent jar...fortunately, I didn't do any further experiments to confirm this.
I also didn't get a very good grade.
But I DID go on to get both a BA and an MS in Zoology. Uh huh. Yeah. And I have been earning a living in science for a good 25 years now.
I am reading a book right now, The Heart and The Fist, by Eric Grietens, who is a SEAL and lots of other nice things.
In the first or second chapter, Greitens describes his own science fair project, which involved three tulips and a container of water, one of Coke, one of beer.
Do you see the similarity? I'm like, OMG, this guy and I could have been separated at birth, give or take ten years. We have SO much in common. I should totally write to him and invite him to dinner. We can talk about dumb science fair projects and...okay, maybe not much else.
Anyway. I'm really enjoying the book...it's not a complete testosterone-fest (not that I would complain about that), it's very well written, and this guy seems to be doing what he's doing for all the right reasons. He's also got this group, The Mission Continues, that gives fellowships to post-9/11 veterans to do service work. I'm a big fan of service work--not just because I'm a nice person, but because it is good for me...keeps me out of my own dark scary places. Check it out, it's pretty cool.
What about you? What is your science fair story?