Sometime in December James came home with a science fair packet. Luckily, he also came home with some ideas for a science project. Here is a snapshot ride on my train of thoughts in moments like those:
Oh good the science fair. THE SCIENCE FAIR?!?!? Yes, I recognize those words. Ok. The science fair. I’m a science teacher. I can help with this. Thank God it’s not a history project. History is in the past. Oh wait, he’s telling me something. Listen to him. Yes, something about engineering a contraption…he doesn’t think it will work…something else about water…he things he can do better…now something about bird vocalization…YES! We have a bird! Perfect! “Excellent!” I tell him. “When is this due?” I ask. “I don’t know,” he says, “sometime after Christmas break”. Sweet. *sticks packet in pile of papers*
Fast forward to a new year! A fresh new experience of temporary amnesia brought on by the holiday season! Fast forward all the way to the Monday morning after the Washington Open Swim Meet when James says “my science project is due on Friday.”
Where am I?
Luckily, I can teach (and parent) like my hair is on fire! So, we dug that science fair packet out and got to work! I retrieved some paint and sponge brushes and a display board from the store and fetched some construction paper from my craft stash while James got to work collecting data that would answer the following question:
WHAT IS THE EFFECT OF TIME OF DAY ON VOCALIZATION FREQUENCY OF AFRICAN GREY PARROTS?
He painted the board, collected the data, and dictated his thoughts while I cut straight lines with my rotary cutter (the one I use for paper only quilty friends 😉), womanned the glue gun, and typed out what he told me. I offered short lessons on choosing large enough font and how to create simple digital graphs as well as loads of encouragement when the hypothesis was wrong.
James hypothesized that Reggie would vocalize most in the evening when we were making dinner. However, over the three days James collected data, the afternoon snack time was the busiest for clucks, beeps, words, whistles, and kisses. James realized that he should have included other sounds in the categories such as belch and roar because those come up frequently in Reggie’s repoitroire! Ha! Next time…
His project turned out great, don’t you think?
James, 6th Grade, 2019
Reggie, age 16, is not very fond of the giant African-Grey colored board!