Saturday, April 24, 2010

Bittersweet Science Fair

Last week, both kids participated in their first ever Science Fair.  Being homeschoolers, we don't have too many opportunities for events like this.  As soon as I asked them if they wanted to do a project, they both got very excited about it and began planning.  Since we had just built our incubator, Reece wanted to use that for his project and incubate his very own eggs.  Peyton, being the animal lover that she is, loved her Daddy's idea of a project highlighting the animals found around our farm.

Reece diligently  took care of his precious eggs every day, checking the temperature and turning them three times a day.  We set them exactly 21 days before the date of the Science fair, hoping that the science fair participants would get to see a live chick hatch.  The day before the fair, two of the eggs hatched!

Reece was thrilled that he could show his babies to everyone at the Science fair.  We still hoped that more eggs would be hatching for the big day.

The next day, we unplugged the incubator and packed everything up and head for the Science fair.

The chicks were a huge hit!  All the children gathered around the incubator, memorized at the tiny chicks inside.  Reece did a fantastic job speaking to the judges, even though he was quite nervous about this portion of the event.  The judges said he was "very articulate" and had a "clear mastery of project goals and process".

Peyton's project was a huge success also!  She had a blast showing everyone all of her animals.  She did great with the judges also, no surprise there though!  Here is one of her judge's comments:

"Peyton is very articulate and confident in her presentation of her project!  She is also very knowledgeable about the different animal species and their interactions.  A truly smart girl with a fantastic future!"

I was so proud of both of them!

Unfortunately, the great day turned tragic when the little black chick lay down and stopped breathing.  We thought she was sleeping, worn out from all the excitement, but she was not.  I still don't know what happened.  Maybe it was genetic, and it would have happened anyway.  Maybe the car trip and the noisy room stressed her out too much.  We just don't know.  All I knew was that I felt terrible for taking them away from their quiet, warm, dark room in my house.  Reece was devastated and wanted to leave and take the other chick home.  So, instead of staying for the judging and awards, we decided we better get the other little one home.

We then learned that Reece had won 1st place in his division.  It was hard to see the happiness in his eyes through the tears.  Overall, they had a great experience in their first ever Science fair.  They had a blast preparing their projects and are already thinking of ideas for next year.  Although, next time we will probably  forgo any live animal projects.

1 comment:

  1. I'm so jealous, I'd love to have chickens and to actually raise/hatch them, super cool! What wonderful projects, even if there was a tragedy.