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Friday, March 1, 2013

11 Teaching science

After our success in the world of the arts, I realized that my next big assignment had to do with science, because the school was going to organize a science fair.

What a heck  can I teach about science?, I can say it’s an area only for a few privileged minds, it requires more than 3 neurons to understand a paragraph, it is boring, scientist need years and years and years studying  mathematics and rare signs to be able to say that you know a little. I started to sweat cold. The letter of invitation had the image of an atom, and seemed very formal, What does I know about atoms?, only that are small... what would I say to children?.

When I googled a book to teaching science, I found so many, some with more than 800 pages, there was videos, lectures, but the idea was not to say what is science, anyone can find it in Wikipedia, the problem was I would apply the definition that looks simple: science is the process of acquisition, refined and organized of knowledge using the scientific method.

My mind ran as a colt with diarrhea and I thought that it was easier to jump from a bridge with a parachute that learning science and then teach science. My vague memories of it were limited to the color of the books and find the way make the girl with huge glasses and horrendous sweaters help me with my homework and then figure out how to make her to share the answers with  me during the exam, but I  couldn't say that to children.

I was ready to go out for a walk when I heard the doorbell, it was Gaby. I'm not sure what she saw on my face, but when her astonishment dissipated, said: look I'm going to take you to meet, you have time right?. How could I tell her that in a couple of days I would have all the time in the world?.

When I fastened the seat belt, I noticed the power of her Prius. I think that if I had been a marble in a box, I would have bounced by every possible angle. I am not sure if I kissed the floor when she stopped in front of a house close to the school; in fact, I remembered that I had stepped in front of it. The Windows were large and it was possible to see someone almost always working.

When we were ready to knock the door, it opened almost as if she knew that we were there, who opened was a person of dark skin and Brown eyes, without looking at me, she asked me: what do you know about sheaves?. 

I was not sure if I had understood the question!, even though she had a strange accent, I was sure that she had said "sheaves"... I had to say very politely: excuse me?.

-Doesn't matter, come, and I think you can help me, I cannot ask Gaby to step into the mud, but my tomato plant needs help and physics can do the job. 

I wasn’t sure if I had understood: what was the relationship between the sheaves, a tomato plant and physics?. The only one clear  thing was  that Gaby wouldn't get dirty her heel shoes. 

I saw that she had several ribbons  in her hand and at the same time she ran told Gaby that she could see from the window... was I faced with a kidnapping situation?, perhaps she could use the ribbons to tie my hands...

When we went to the other side of the house, I saw several plants, one of them seemed to have grapes and then my eyes saw something that I never imagined: a plant filled with tomatoes!, I always thought that they were born in the boxes where they  are displayed in the supermarket.

She asked me that I nailed a couple of nails, but before I did it she measured the angle to make sure that “the force of support can sustain the plant" and then she measured again to be sure about the "length to determine the best angle of support".

I couldn't believe that physics would serve to support the plant, exactly the way in which she predicted and held it in a way that no leaf was hurt, the plant seemed happy.

When we finish she cut reddest tomato and gave it to me, and said: you have earned this, thank you for your help!.

When I took the tomato, I could avoid  to ask her  if she taught science, but she smiled and said with a quiet voice: No David, I study learning, and I think that you've already seen much well it works when you  applying the right strategies, children not only learn, they also enjoy it.

Her smile was huge, but when I started to look at it, she said: well, you've earned a glass of lemonade too, but you’ll need to add sugar.

When we were inside her house, the excitement was so big that I hold her and then Gaby. There were books and journals of science, computers, pictures, lots of pictures!, but what caught my attention were some little bottles in a  jar that I had to look closely. When Gaby saw me almost with my nose inside the jar she asked me:  do you know what is that?... they were had all kinds of seeds inside and seemed each bottle was labeled. 

- No, but they seem like… seeds?... and then I heard as music: they are my scientific experiments, I'm trying to benefit my garden, and then she began to open and show me each bottle, thinking perhaps that I understood what she was saying, but my excitement was even greater when I realized that she was my guru and that she was directing me on my way through science.

When I finished watching, I said: see, I'm going to teach a biological marvel!, we went outside, including her two dogs and showed me a plant filled with butterflies and bees... I'm trying to create a friendly garden for bees, aren’t they beautiful?.

- Beautiful?, it was beautiful to see science in action!. 

Would it bother you show this to my group of children?, - I asked her with a little sorry... maybe they could come after school, and you could perhaps explain everything about how you do all this?, but she smiled and replied: it will be a great pleasure, the children will love it!.

I realized that when you want to, science can be fun!, isn't it incredible?. I had my first science class and there was no need to kidnap me!.

I was ready to go home, If I could survive to the Super Power of Gaby’s Prius with her on board!

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