I have just checked the grapefruit seed that I spoke about in last Saturday's post: "Grow a Plant from Food Scraps". No sprout yet, but no moldy mess either, so I'm going to wait it out. I guess I'm not the only one thinking about growing things this time of year, as I just received my "Kids Garden News" from www.kidsgardening.org. They, too, have made some suggestions for starting kitchen scrap plants that you may want to check out here. If you are not already familiar with Kids Gardening. by the National Gardening Association, I'd recommend checking it out.
The lack of progress with my grapefruit seed seems to be the theme of the week when it comes to science observations. On Wednesday night we were excited to check out the Lovejoy Comet. We were not successful spotting it from my house that night, nor the following two. This is not the first time we have been skunked in the past few months when it comes to astronomy. We put in an honest attempt to view the Geminid meteor shower as well, but only saw a few. Some of my students have seen the comet, which is exciting.
Although it is easy to get discouraged when you don't get the results you expect or hope for in science it is best to remember that the effort is not wasted. Good science observations and experiments always lead to more questions. For me today they are, "Am I keeping my grapefruit seed moist enough?", "How was this fruit grown, and did that have an effect on the viability of the seed?", "Is the seed being kept at an optimal temperature for germination?". I continue to look for the comet each evening because I have lingering questions. "Was it too bright the first time we looked?" "Am I interpreting the tools I have correctly to look in the right spot?" "Was I looking at the right time? If not, will I see it at different times?" "What is that other bright object near the Moon?" (Actually answered that one: Jupiter).
Sometimes the effort of asking the questions and making observations is truly the most important part, not the results. I recently shared a Rachel Carson quote with parents in my 6th grade class after we all had difficulty spotting meteors during the Geminid shower. To me, this is something to remember and keep in perspective when sharing science with children. “If a child is to keep alive his inborn sense of wonder, he needs the companionship of at least one adult who can share it, rediscovering with him the joy, excitement, and mystery of the world we live in.” Being curious alongside children creates a lasting impression and nurtures their desire to question and wonder. This weekend, I challenge each of you to be curious with your children and question the world around you. Who knows? You might learn something in the process. As always, I would love to hear about your discoveries and adventures in science. Comment below, or e-mail me at: firstname.lastname@example.org