Monday, February 4, 2013

"Just Messing About"


One of the effects of the Edison study I had my son do recently has been an increased interest in trying things out and creating his own experiments and inventions.  Edison is a great example, and Carbon finds the accounts of Edison's many, many failures and persistent efforts very encouraging.

So he is inspired.  He is encouraged.  And he's trying all sorts of ideas - none of which have worked.  That cup experiment pictured above?  He was hoping if he heated the tube it would suck water from one tube into another.  I could see how he had the idea from the steam engine he built with his dad, but this didn't quite work.  Pictured below he was trying to make a baking soda and vinegar time release reaction by balancing the baking soda on a piece of plastic above the vinegar.  That also didn't end up working.  But, with the example of Edison fresh in his mind, he's not discouraged.


So now I have to give him the space to do this sort of thing.  I have to give him time, supplies, permission to use a flame in his experiment.  When there is a list of school assignments still undone for that day, and he's out in the yard "just messing about" with vinegar, I have to remind myself that he's doing real learning out there.

If he doesn't get all his assignments done today because he spent hours on this sort of thing, we had our priorities in the right place.

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