Enabling the Future

by Terry 5/22/2008 4:49:00 PM

When I asked my daughter, Kaitlin, who is eight, if she would like to work lab experiments with me, she said she really, really wanted to do that. And, without prompting by me, started listing of things she would need; goggles, an apron and a notebook. That last part surprised me. I asked her what she would record in her notebook. She replied that she would record what she did and what she saw with each experiment. Again, I was surprised by this.

When I was her age, I recall simple earth-science experiments in school and assignments to record the observations. I do not think I, at that time and age, could have articulated what the purpose was of the lab notebook. (This was not because I was dull. I was often bored in class. My teachers wanted to put me with the ‘special needs’ kids until my mother demanded that they stop doing that. At which time I started to gain some interest in school again. It was the later-half of high school and college when I could pick the classes that interested me where I became an honors student.)

Naturally, I have a bit of pride at Kaitlin’s grasp of science. More than anything, I want to enable channels of success for her. Keeping her interested in the sciences is one of the best way I can think of to enable her.

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Science Club is Germinating

by Terry 5/22/2008 4:26:00 PM

So far every person I have talked too about creating a small ‘Science Club’ has been excited about the idea. I asked a friend’s daughter, Heather, who is eighteen and planning on starting college in the fall, whether she is interested in participating in a Science Club. Her response was an enthusiastic, “yes!” My daughter is pretty excited by the idea too.

So I think I will be creating a local Science Club. I am planning on purchasing all the chemicals and lab equipment for myself, as it is now. I am thinking Science Club members would need only purchase gloves, goggles, notebook and the Illustrated Guide to Home Chemistry Experiments: All Lab, No Lecture (DIY Science). I may ask for a few dollars to replenish stock used in group experiments. It is an evolving idea at the moment.

I also am toying with the idea of staging a ‘Chemistry in Action’ demonstration for the local elementary school at next year’s annual science fair. I am not sure what yet. I thought of making slime to give away to the kids, but do that as part of a grand finale. I thought I could start with a less-than exciting micro-experiment, and then a larger bench experiment, finally ending with massively up-scaled experiment filling a 50 gallon trash can with slime. 

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About Terry Losansky

Terry Dee Losansky

I am a software architect, actively practice and teach martial arts and live in Snoqualmie, Washington. I have an amazing daughter who is the jewel of my life.

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