Today we had an excellent opportunity to show that science often entails a time consuming process. A process that allows for the participant to observe their situation, note variables and learn. A process that has to be done slowly in order to make the best analysis. A process that exists to better our understanding of the natural world.
We took things a different route.
The firstborn got a dinosaur dig site toy for Christmas. It is a very neat idea. The kids have to chisel through a soft stone like compound to carefully dig out hidden dinosaur bones. They get a chisel, a brush and a lesson in patience.
The box states the toy is for ages 4 to 8 and immediately let’s the customer know it is a box of lies. No four year old, even the biggest of dinosaur loving four year olds, will sit through the process of carefully chipping away the plaster of Paris like block. That is just not going to happen.
We thought the process could be hurried along by pulling out screwdrivers. We justified this course of action with the line of thinking that a real dog site would have dozens of unpaid students doing the work. A screwdriver was basically going to be our unpaid intern.
We did get to talk about sedimentary rock, the fossilization process, limestone, what bones do and why superglue was going to save the dinosaur’s spine that got ripped in half by the intern. So there were bits of education tossed in while we ignored the basic tenant of scientific progress.
Lesson learned; show patience and the kid will learn patience. Show stabbing things with a screwdriver and the kid will learn stabbing things with a screwdriver.