Teaching Science to Scouts or Some Other Crap

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.  Mine were viewing the rings of Saturn on a camping trip and learning about some absoludicrously old rocks in Canada.  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?”  To all 6 boring milquetoast ideas that Mr. Wizard couldn’t make fun, yes.  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.  If only I could stop their children.