Ree turned in her school science fair project today and I’m crossing my fingers that she has an easy time talking about it in front of the class. The girl does not like public speaking one little bit (well who does?).
The science fair is optional for first graders, so there’s really no pressure at all. In fact I was surprised Ree wanted to do it. But she was determined to try to grow crystals from the very beginning. So I figured this was right up the grandparents’ alley and got them involved. Whew. Best decision I’ve made this month.
They came up with their recipes (from the good ole internet, of course) and the three of them spent one morning playing mad scientists in the kitchen.
They ended up making two sets of the salt, sugar, and borax mixtures then stored one set in the fridge and one set in the office to see which one grew the biggest crystals.
Ree checked her baby crystals every few days and diligently recorded her findings in her journal. It was fun to see what she wrote and how she explained things.
She originally guessed that the hot borax would make the biggest crystal, and later said she was “half wrong” since the cold borax actually made the biggest one. It was a close race though, and I think she did a bang-up job.
The one big surprise was that the hot salt mixture (in Ree’s words) “went crazy all over the paper towel” while we were in Hawaii. We came back home to find this creeping salty monster trying to escape:
She’s only six, so obviously Ree needed help with this project. But we tried to limit our help to guidance and let her drive everything. Ree decided on her own that she wanted to try to grow big crystals for the project, my folks got the recipes and ingredients and helped her assemble all of the mixtures, then she wrote what she saw in her journal and told me what to take pictures of. For the poster, we relied on a sample layout the school gave us (thank goodness) and Ree picked her font and colors (rainbow of course!), then wrote out the index cards. I printed the headers and pictures (the girl’s been a master of YouTube for a long time now, but she can’t use Lightroom or MS Word yet – give it a year). She was getting awfully fidgety by the time the poster had to be assembled, so we helped lay it out but she did the actual taping (hence the crookedness, which I actually like). Next time I’ll suggest that we spread the poster construction over a few days so it can be broken into more-easily-digestible jobs (pick pictures, write captions, glue pictures, etc.).
Go little Ree. We’re all proud of you.
PS: Not that Ree looks radically different from any other day, but it’s mismatched-clothes day for spirit week.