(I have to use the zero to make this less google-able by my kids).
I love planning things very intensely, then watching them unfold, hopefully smoothly, and this year’s Science Exp0 was perfect in this regard. Hours of time put into a schedule paid off; everyone knew where to go when, small discrepancies – like judges moving faster or slower than planned – turned out to be no major problem, the kids had a great day, the teachers thought it went well, and the judges were awesome. The vast majority of my energy went to handling one behavior problem that spiraled out of control, but otherwise it was the easiest Science Exp0 we’ve ever done. I credit my two fantastic science team members who helped with all the planning, the teachers who stayed with the kids all day and made sure they were where they belonged, doing the right thing, and a crack team of judges who showed up early, asked the kids great questions, scored really fairly, and had a terrific attitude all day long.
I could write three pages, or I could write two sentences, and neither would capture the day. Good moments: teams that worked really hard and knew their stuff were voted the winners (this is not a guarantee!); having four alums of my school come back to be judges, polite, neatly dressed, incredibly helpful all day long, asking great questions, modeling everything we try to coax out of our children; hearing our judges warmly and humorously debrief the projects over lunch; talking to kids thrilled that “the judge came and we did so good, I know we did good, he liked our project, he asked us lots of questions and we knew the answers!”; spending a few minutes with our 8th graders, who were once my 6th graders, seeing how far they’ve come with their understanding of science and ability to take on a big project like this one.
Much of our staff went out on Arthur Avenue afterwards for Blue Moon and gobs of cheese-stuffed shells and fried calamari and a half-dozen toasts. And then it was seven and the day was over!