6 Things I Learned From My Daughter's Science Project


How excited was I, when my daughter came home to tell me that she entered this year's school Science Fair?!  Of course, as my kid's Mom, I got pumped up throwing out all sorts of ideas she could use to make her project great!  Needless to say that was short lived.  My kid had already decided what her project was going to be about and how she wanted to do it.  Well now...

Participating in a Science Fair can be pretty intimidating, right?  Or as parents do we project our own insecurities?  I admit, for me it's sometimes the latter.  I get so nervous for my kid, but then I have to stop and recycle some of the things I try to teach her about confidence, in my own head.

The overall task in the Science Fair is to showcase your project proving a hypothesis.  In my daughter's case, her hypothesis included the size of the geyser increasing as an increased amount of Mentos were added to soda.  Pretty popular amongst a lot of the kiddos in her age group, it's known as the Mentos Soda Experiment.


Any parent who has a kid that participated in this type of experiment knows 3 things:
  1. It takes planning.
  2. It's messy.
  3. It's a lot of fun!
The entire experiment was organized, planned, and led by my daughter.  She wrote down materials she needed, action steps to execute the project, and a place to write the results.  I always smile when I see this behavior because since she was 3 years old, she would pretend she's doing work like Mommy with her toy laptop...anyway, I digress.

The subsequent step after planning was getting the materials needed.  Here is where we, her parents, dropped the ball.  Two weeks in a row, my daughter reminded us that she needed to get her materials so she could start her project.  Due to snow, other priorities, and whatever else (life), this step didn't happen.  This resulted in this 10 year old getting very frustrated and emotional, leading to her requesting a family meeting. [Yeah!]  After she expressed that she felt overwhelmed with the project and have now lost 2 weeks because she hadn't been able to get started, this was causing her stress. She also added that she felt like we were not helping her because of how we kept saying we'd get to it, etc.  Sidebar: I chuckle [in hindsight] because I recently wrote about teaching my daughter to find her voice...and oh man, did she!!!

Overall, there is success in this story.  Shortly after our family meeting, we picked up all of her materials and she was able to execute.  While, I'm ecstatic that she came in 1st place [for all of the 4th grade] in her school, there was a larger lesson for me.  Here are the 6 Things I Learned From My Daughter's Science Project:

  • She has the ability to communicate her thoughts [well].
  • When she felt strongly about her position, my daughter did not back down from expressing what it meant to her.
  • While she was frustrated/emotional, my daughter shared her message.
  • She doesn't fear authority.  In this example, she was not afraid to let her parents have it [figuratively].  The truth is, we dropped the ball.  Sidebar: at 10 years old, she isn't registering this as letting her parents have it, but that she needed to have us understand what she felt...and was not afraid because we were her parents.
  • She leveraged her emotion with a message.  I'm so sure this will serve her well in the future with any of her marketing strategies...LOL!  I was so impressed.
  • Her 'stuff' is as equally important as ours.  Even though we had other priorities, she reminded us that in her life's space her project was just as important.

Who knew I'd still learn so much through a 4th grader's Science project?!?!  How about you?

Thanks for reading!

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