I was asked to run a session on teach Cub Scouts Science and one of the points I try to drive home was that most kids have some sort of “Wow” moment.Â Mine were viewing the rings of Saturn on a camping trip and learning about some absoludicrously old rocks in Canada.Â I use the pillars of creation in the Eagle Nebula and some very small pictures.
I quickly determined that I had a lot of work to do after the following:
- One person asked if a magnetized quarter would still work (I’m not sure how they were planning to magnetize it)
- Someone declared that a jet engine and a flying hoop operated on the same principle
- Someone kept referring to how she was going to have her kids “make science” which sounds like a euphemism biologists use
- After deploying a water bottle rocket someone asked if a foot pump would work instead of a bicycle pump and if one could use another fluid besides water which begs yet more questions
One fellow seemed to be bent on oneupsmanship and rattled off 6 activities he’d done with his Scouts asking after each “have you tried that?”Â To all 6 boring milquetoast ideas that Mr. Wizard couldn’t make fun, yes.Â I felt like a bit of a dick and thought I should go into blackface and thank massa for showerin’ learning on me. Luckily most of these folk will be dead by the time I enter science advocacy 45 years from now.Â If only I could stop their children.