Allie’s science project was due on Tuesday. Yay! It’s over.
Let me back track a bit. Allie, my 12 year old seventh grader was assigned a science project at the beginning of the school year.
The task: collect 10 bugs, 10 leaves and 10 seeds.
Display and describe them in some manner.
Don’t spend a lot of money.
Examples shared by the teacher from years past were mainly large display cases.
Well, the first problem with the project was that Allie does not believe in killing. No, not even killing bugs. She doesn’t particularly like bugs, but believes in the live & let live philosophy. Her hippy looking [please, I don’t mean that in a derogatory way. . . I’m okay with hippies] teacher said, when she asked him, that students could collect dead or purchase fake bugs [ie fish bait]. Which begs the question, is there a bait store in Lexington? Back on track – I was surprised that her teacher, again a male, middle aged, hippy type with a LONG ponytail, would advocate KILLING creatures, but he told her they’re going to die soon anyway. Again, this didn’t turn Allie to the dark side [I’m thinking about Sid from Toy Story right now].
The second problem
with the project is that, as a mother, one of my biggest temptations is becoming THE TAKEOVER MOTHER when it comes to projects. I kinda liked projects when I was a student. Tests, not so much. Give me a project over a test any day and I’ll most likely do alright. After all, everyone in the class is going to view the project. You can’t hide it on turn in day, and by golly, who doesn’t want theirs to be the best? [yes, I have deep seeded childhood issues with performance] I may very well be this mom
. So, I have to really control myself and let my kids handle these assignments on their own. Except. . . .
projects usually mean trips to stores for supplies [Allie can’t drive]. Projects usually mean kids asking Mom [that’s me] for advice. This time around the project meant killing a few bugs because Allie can’t stomach it.
The third issue with this project was that, as stated above, most examples shown from previous years were large display cases. When priced at Michael’s craft store, we found these cases to be expensive and not easy to maneuver. I just wasn’t willing to fork out $20+ as a final resting place for 10 bugs [may they RIP]. So we came up with some alternative ways of displaying the items. After some interesting public exchange at the craft store.
All in all, the project was completed by Allie. I gave a few helpful [in my opinion] comments. But, she got it done [herself]. And looking back I see how this type of thing is good for a study in personalities. And how I’ve passed down some of my traits: compulsiveness, perfectionism when others will see the final work, procrastination. But I also see this: a girl who wants to do her best. A girl who wants to follow the directions. A girl who succeeds and is pleased with her success. And that makes me happy.
And so does this: At the bus stop on turn in day, Allie said, “I’m proud of my project.” She even thanked me for my help.
On Wednesday she brought home directions for the Science Fair, a requirement for 7th graders. [Ugh!]