Sunday, March 11, 2012

Daddy Talk: Science Fair Edition

On Saturday I volunteered as a judge at the regional science fair at the University. It's my fourth year of volunteering and it is something that I get a lot of satisfaction doing, usually.  This year it was a bit more relevant to me because of Milo. I looked around and remembered my experiences at science fairs when I was a kid and at the same time looked forward to helping Milo with his first science fair. 

From my personal experience as a participant in science fairs when I was younger I also remembering phoning it in. I was a nerd but not near the quality of nerd some of these kids are. And when I say nerd I mean it as the highest compliment I can deliver. I mean thorough, thoughtful and full of promise. Some of the projects there were very impressive. These 7th graders showed real promise, not just in knowledge but also in work ethic. Some of these kids show so much effort.

I bring this up because when I looked around, there were enough examples of kids doing it because it was a requirement for a grade or because their parents pushed them to do something. Being one of those kids myself I looked back and wondered what the difference was between the kids who were driven to work really hard on a project and those that have to be cajoled into doing something. I want Milo to be the kid who becomes interested in something and follows through on his own. I want to be available to him and a resource rather than being a task master.

A lot of the kids who did the best had involved parents who didn't help in a big way but were great supporters -- parents who could give good hints, recommend some places to look but not take over. I really feel like I am going to be the dad who will take over when I really shouldn't. I am a crappy teacher who sometimes never has enough patience. I really need to find a way to learn the patience. Luckily I am getting better at it and I figure I have at least four years until Milo's first science fair.

1 comment:

  1. mmm... two and a half, maybe. ;-)

    you're a great dad, albert. you and milo are going to have a lot of fun together.