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Did science fairs skip a generation or something?

Not one time during elementary school, junior high, high school or college did I participate in a science fair. From Kindergarten to 12th grade I attended a dizzying number of schools: one in Los Angeles; three in Colorado; one in West Texas; one in Arkansas; one in East Texas; one in Dallas; one in Kansas and two in Oklahoma. At no time at any of these schools did I ever hear anything about a science fair.

In fact, I learned about science fairs from books. They were after school special lore, really. So, I’m seriously wondering in a Gen-X victim kind of way (ha!) if science fairs skipped a generation. I bet Hobby Lobby is totally to blame for their big comeback.

I have helped my 13-year-old with science fair projects for the last five years, and I’m telling, you, I’ve made up for lost time, people. I’ve been dragged through a massive recycling plant and a composting experiment that involved me not throwing away potato peelings and salad scraps for an entire month. I’ve had to help glue pictures of live rats [scared me/scarred me] to poster boards, and I’ve had to run all over town trying to find 15 different kinds of orange drinks to aid in the testing of vitamin C levels.

This year, I got to spend $21 on colored copies of “data” and another $9 on photos of the experiment. And pipe cleaners. And glittery paper. And shiny, puffy letters. I have three kids and two of them are preschoolers. I am going to be doing science fair projects until I’m 60! I’m going to get to the end of my life and be able to tell people I’ve helped with more than 30 science fair projects.

It’s all very exciting though. Juliette won big time last year, and we never even saw it coming. She advanced to three levels beyond her local school — all the way to state, although she was sick the day of that competition. I absolutely refuse to do the real work for her, too. This year she did all the experiments completely by herself. I helped her cut some stuff out for her board, but she laid the whole thing out herself. I’m so proud of her!

Anyway, did any of you Xers participate in science fairs when you were kids? Or did we – as in all the Xers in the world – get ripped off or something? Tell me, please. We need something else to feel bad about. Haha!

Gen X Blog Jennifer Chronicles

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  1. HeyRay

    Yup, I had to participate in only one (thankfully) in 8th grade. My parents were not happy about the requirement that the trifold board be actual plywood, which we had to buy at the hardware store, and the hinges, and the paint. They didn’t have the nifty pre-made and lightweight boards at WalMart back then. My project was on the dwindling population of the Florida manatee. I liked manatees, but I had no interest in studying their population control.

  2. Yogi♪♪♪

    Sorry, you got ripped. I participated in them in high school.

    Juliette’s project is fabulous. Great sense of design and layout. Congratulations to her.


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