The Science Fair… Who gets the Blue Ribbon?

I don’t know about you, but when my own kids were growing up, I was a little less than enthusiastic when they came home from school with the packet for the yearly science fair. Twenty pages of instructions and regulations outlining the criteria to have a project accepted. The do’s and don’t’s, the what’s and how’s, methods, directions, set up. You need a topic, investigative question, hypothesis, procedure, data collected and your conclusion.
My granddaughter’s parents keep long hours with full time jobs, lengthy commutes and school, so of course, “I will be glad to help.”
Day one, I kick around ideas suitable for a second grader. I come up with a brilliant plan. We will test food items to see what will float in plain water vs salt water; using carrots, broccoli, a chunk of hot dog and an egg. Sounds good and best of all, easy.
There’s a paper to fill out for the teacher to review to see if planned project will be acceptable. In bold print “PLEASE READ ENTIRE BOOKLET” before turning in ideas. OH! There are ten bullets pointing out what CAN NOT be used in your experiment. Number 10 – NO FOOD ITEMS. Seriously?!
So… it’s back to the drawing board. While I am looking up ideas on the internet, my husband comes up with a suggestion. Why not test her pulse and blood pressure after doing certain activities. We can start with resting, then compare how it changes after exercise and other actions. We have a blood pressure monitor. Perfect!
Our plan passes inspection and we can start. But… being tickled pink we landed a project, we don’t; we sit on it. Yesterday at our house was a whirlwind. The three of us are running around like crazy people getting this assignment completed. Getting a board, printing information, doing the actual experiments and writing out our data on cards. Occassionally I would give my input on where I thought something should be placed on OUR display. “No Gramma, remember this is MY science project! I want that over here!” Oh…
We made the deadline this afternoon and set up our project in the multi-purpose room. The judging will be done before tomorrow night when the actual fair begins. I can’t wait to see if WE get a blue ribbon!!

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