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Go Ask Mom

Jennifer Joyner: Science fair for the not so scientific

Posted October 23, 2013

Jennifer Joyner

Ah, it’s my favorite time of year.

Both of my kids have visions of winning the Science Fair, bless their hearts. And believe me, my skepticism is not born out of their lack of intelligence or their unwillingness to commit. No, they have all that, in spades.

What they don’t have, unfortunately, are scientific parents.

Oh believe me, we try. We do the research, we ask the questions, we buy the supplies. But just like a chef in a fine restaurant, there needs to be a maestro of sorts to bring the whole recipe together, and that’s where our little cherubs fall way short.

Makes me sad for them. Now, if it were a writing contest, I could coach them to victory, no doubt. If the fair had a thing to do with music, their dad would champion them to the top, to be sure. But science? Eh, we, as parents/coaches, are average at best. In fact, it won’t be long before they surpass us completely in ability, and we couldn’t be happier.

But, at least they are good sports about it. We come up with fun ideas, and there are plenty of laughs as we conduct our experiments. And when the entries come home without a ribbon, we just shrug and vow to get ‘em next time.

Just as soon as they earn those degrees.

Jennifer Joyner is a mom of two, freelance writer and WRAL-TV assignment editor in Fayetteville. Her food obsession memoir, “Designated Fat Girl,” came out in 2010. Find her here on Wednesdays.

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  • thinkb4speak Oct 24, 2013

    I would like to help you out....there are many websites out there that have ideas and techniques for science fair projects. My daughter's favorite was They have the projects outlined by age and then by category. My daughter always chose a project about her age group for the challenge and then she would take that idea and expand/tweak it to make it personal. It is a great resource for those of us that are science challenged. Hope this helps! (Don't forget to include the website in your citations for the project.)