04 September 2009


Here she is posing with experiment #3 from Adventures With Atoms and Molecules: Chemistry Experiments for Young People. Look how beautifully you can see the difference between how the food coloring moves in the hot (left) and cold (right) water. I love it when the experiment turns out right!
Here is my eager student doing the worst part of Chemistry: writing about the experiment. I give her breaks by writing out some of it (I use " to show that she said it and I am only taking dictation). After a good deal of complaining and stalling about writing So Much, I asked her

"What would be the best job ever where you would want to work one day?"

"A pet store"she answered, and I asked

"What would be so fun about it?"

"Petting the dogs and playing with them in that room" she said, referring to the Doggy Day Care at our PetSmart.

So I cruelly tried to explain to her what the real world is like. "Well, if you worked at the pet store, then you would have lots of fun petting the dogs, and feeding the dogs, and playing with them. But what happens if it is raining, but you still have to walk them? You would get all wet! And what if all the kids were looking at the dogs in the dog play room, and one of the cute dogs pooped? You would have to clean it up with all the people watching!!!" (this would be utterly mortifying, obviously.)

I said "The writing part of science is like getting rained on when you walk a really cute dog. It's usually a fun job, but sometimes you have to do the not-fun parts too. Chemistry is all exciting experiments, you have to figure out the mystery. But then you have to write about it. Writing helps us remember what happened, so we don't have to do the experiment all over again. And remember, if you have a good attitude, I'll write some for you."


  1. Have you done the egg thing where you soak it in vinegar forever and it dissolves the shell but leaves the membrane so you have a little egg blob?

  2. Sounds gross and cool at the same time. What are they learning in that one? I'll have to check and see if it's in my book.