A Fifth Grade Science Fair


If I had to do this over again I wouldn’t do it because it was hard.

I spotted this line on someone’s science project display last night at the middle school. It was right above the conclusion, which was glued upside down.

Fifth grade science projects are an odd mix of inspiration and laziness, all that motivation dampened by the hard fact of having to take notes, record observations, and develop a working hypothesis. Not to mention researching, finding sources, and presenting an oral report. The horror.

Poor L was confronted with these details the night before the science fair, which happened to coincide with a miserable allergy attack. “I hate science,” he mumbled into his glue stick. Poor dear. Of course, he could’ve been more organized the night before, or four weeks ago, or six weeks ago, or nine weeks ago when he first got the assignment. But…he wasn’t. And Monday morning he turned back toward the house during our family scramble to the cars and said, “I just remembered! My science fair project is due today!”

He turned it in late.

It was sweet, though, the fair. A chance to say hello and goodbye to his teachers, who will only be his teachers for two more weeks. A chance to see the other parents and measure my own exhaustion against theirs. B got to hold a guinea pig and M got to hold a rat and now everyone wants new pets.

But I have forbid this family from acquiring any new pets for a while because it is pretty much summer and time to go camping. There are trails to beat flat and brooks to fall into. And no science projects (except of course for the fun science happening constantly in the kitchen, on the porch, and in the driveway (baking soda, vinegar, borax, glue)) until next year.


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