My niece joined the family on July 12th, 2010. This special young lady's mother is my younger sister, which in classic Chinese culture makes me her Jiu Jiu (舅舅) -- thus the title of this blog. Here I intend to semi-regularly post reflections, thoughts, stories, and assorted whathaveyous pertaining to our trip to China, adoption in general, and (mostly) watching my niece grow up. Since the web is a very public place, I will attempt to maintain my family's privacy while telling the story... but I invite you to follow the blog and come along for the adventure!

Saturday, August 20, 2016

Catching Up: Science Share 2016_03_16

During my illustrious career as an elementary & junior high school student, I participated regularly in school science fairs. Some sort of blurred past, while others remain etched firmly in my memory. (Most notable was the huge diorama filled with hand-made plasticine dinosaurs & plants divided into geological epochs that took nearly two months of Mom pushing reminding me to complete on time; I still remember being caught totally off guard when, in the middle of my presentation, the parents of an older student asked me if the dinosaurs became extinct because Noah didn't take them aboard the ark. The next most memorable was the interactive rock & mineral display I built complete with "Can you find the calcium?" only to discover a couple of hours into the fair that someone had walked off with my only chunk of calcium.)

(Dude, you're getting off track again.)

Ahem. Well, anyway, the Pipsqueak is continuing her uncle's proud(?) tradition with her school's annual "Science Share," partnering with her BFF H on the kind of yummy experiment I wish I'd thought of myself: testing & reporting on the melting times of various types of chocolate. AJ bought the chocolates & helped them run the experiment (read: made sure they didn't burn down the house) and both moms contributed to the display, but the girls did the majority of the actual work themselves.

The big Science Share event was on March 16th, with all the displays set up in the school gym where lots (and lots and lots) of families, friends and teachers moved back & forth between various experiments. The girls set up their "Sweet Meltdown" display and then spent much of the evening wandering around, checking out the other exhibits -- so much so that we had to periodically remind the girls that at least one of them had to stay at their own display to answer visitors' questions and talk with the judges.

I spent some time wandering on my own and was really impressed with the experiments on display. Sure, there was the usual vinegar-and-baking-soda volcano and a couple of "Will It Float" experiments, but also things like checking which type of music will calm down a cat the most, what types of liquids glow when a laser beam passes through them, comparisons of the specific gravity of different drinks marketed to kids, and even one where I'm not too sure what the actual experiment was about because the math & physics involved went too far beyond anything I'd ever dealt with. (Remember, these were all done by kids in elementary school!)

Here are some photos of the event...

Making sure everything is set up properly...
Experimental results presented for all the world to see.
Mommy & Grandpa check out the crowd.
Talking to the judges of the Science Share competition.
Waiting for the awards ceremony to begin; this is only about half the crowd!
Only a few won prizes but all the kids got certificates of participation, handed out
one-by-one by the principal. Here the Pipsqueak's getting her certificate.
"Oh, no, Uncle Brian is trying to take my picture again!"
 All the families helped pack up & clean the gym after the event officially ended, and the girls had a good time just running around with their friends. (It's not every day that your entire family is visiting your school, especially at night!) As we headed down the main hallway to the exit, Miri & H simultaneously noticed photos of themselves on the board where photos of school activities are posted every week and wasted no time in pointing each other out to each other...

We all congratulated the girls on a job well done and closed out the evening with ice cream while the Pipsqueak began trying to decide what experiment she'll do for Science Share in second grade next year.

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