Thursday, April 30, 2009

Gag me with a science project

My boys go to a fabulous school. #1 is in 10th grade and taking physics. He has a project to do, build a Rube Goldberg machine. Here is a picture of one:

What they are planning is along the lines of the photo, but with 2 bowling balls and fireworks...I kid you not. Neat project, eh? In theory yes. The reality is more along the lines of shoving a red hot poker into one's eye socket. The biggest problem is that he isn't doing this on his own, he is teamed up with 2 other whack-job 16 year old boys! We have affectionately dubbed them the Squirrel Twins. On their own, they are probably marvelous, intelligent guys; together they have the combined IQ of a brussel sprout. They haven't done the physics involved, they have come up with the idea and then want to go buy the supplies. We went to the home of ST1, I went along because his mother wasn't home, so I had to "supervise", ST2 came over and they began planning...while playing Guitar Hero! I like loud music, but my fillings were jarring loose. I just sat and read my book. While ST1 is telling me that they can build anything with wood we want, he has the problem...his mother comes home. She wasn't aware that people were coming over and apparently the little darling wasn't supposed to be playing video games...oops. She removed the gate from the stairs & heaved it across the room while shrieking for ST1 to GETINHISROOMNOW! #1 shrunk to about the size of an armadillo, whispered to me "I told him to tell his mom.", and asked if we should flee now. We got the rest planned and fled.

We went to the handyman's hideout and I asked if someone could help us. A nice man named Alan did and began asking incredibly complicated questions like; what is it supposed to do, how big is it going to be, and (worst of all) with what are you going to make it. Turns out these Einsteins haven't...even...done...the...physics! #1's response to my asking if they had done ANY calculations was, "oh, we're going to try it & if it doesn't work, we"ll try something else." It is due on Monday. I'm walking this very fine line between helping him and letting him do it. ST1 really doesn't seem very reliable, so I tentatively set up a rendezvous with my dad to do the construction.

Will I ever survive my kids' education?


SKA said...

Hey there, thanks for the comment on my blog. LOVE your posts here, they made me laugh and think of similar experiences. :)

Can I add you to my blogroll?

my4kidsma said...