When you see your child’s interest in a subject at an early age it can be fun, yet at times a challenge.
Case in point, our eight-year-old daughter, Julia, is a budding scientist. She throws around the word hypothesis like some kids throw around the word candy. Frankly, I never heard the word until I was in junior high school.
With that interest is a natural need to do science experiments. We have bought her kits, but those must be in controlled environment with a parent and directions. Something, she rarely wants. Julia prefers to do her own.
And when she says she is going to play in her room that usually means she is playing in the bathroom as well. Today, I found on the bathroom window sill two small cups. One is a toy teacup with some hair conditioner and a little water in it. I also found a medicine measuring cup with just conditioner.
“What is this?” I asked Julia, knowing immediately she was the culprit and not her older sister.
“I am doing an experiment to see which one evaporates faster,” she said matter of fact.
“Which do you think will evaporate first?” I said.
“The one without water, but I am not sure,” she answered.
“Okay,” I said placing them back on the window sill. While some parents maybe a bit upset on the waste of hair conditioner, something that Julia has to be reminded to apply to her hair. I am not.
As a journalist who covers a lot of issues including business and education, I know that our country is facing a long-term crisis of not having enough kids interested in science, technology, engineering and math – deem STEM. Leave up to the nerds to come up with such a cleaver acronym.
I figure as long as she is not using a large amount of any product, not using fire and is playing with her teacups in some sort of manner (can’t recall if she ever had a tea party), I can live with it.
In fact, by asking her about it, I feel I am encouraging it. I want her to feel it is okay to spend her time on something productive and she enjoys that may end up a career.
The only thing I asked was that when the experiment is over, she applies the conditioner to her hair.