My Sweet Scientist

I’m far from a scientist, so when Olivia came home from school several weeks ago with a science fair flyer I was not excited. While I may not have been excited, she was crazy excited and asked if she could enter it. With a heavy sigh, I nodded yes.

Once I gave her the go-ahead, she giddily powered up the computer to find the perfect project.  Through the magic of the internetwe she found hundreds of options, but finally settled on a sugar experiment after I nixed several other ideas. Olivia wanted to get started on it right away. Is this my child?  Why not be like me and wait until the last possible moment? Eight years old isn’t too young to pull an all nighter right?

Well she didn’t push the deadline envelope, but I did have her wait until the weekend before the project was due to take-over my kitchen and turn it into a science lab.  Below are just some of the chemicals used, otherwise known as sugar, honey, and Equal.

For the experiment she added these to lemon juice and water, thereby turning lemons into lemonade.

Olivia then needed subjects to test the lemonade, and recruited her sisters as well as me and her Dad to taste the concoctions. They may all look the same, but trust me, they didn’t taste the same.



Once we finished tasting, Olivia started work on her report and display. This took all weekend. Her Dad and I were determined to let this be HER project, and mainly helped her with spell check, choosing font size, and printing out the pictures. While that may seem easy in concept, in reality it was insanely difficult not to just jump in and finish the damn project ourselves. But we didn’t. Well mostly we didn’t.

That all leads us to today, March 22nd, Science Fair Day.

The school library was turned into a maze of  science projects filled with young scientists sporting  white lab coats waiting to give their presentations.

I’m not sure who was more nervous, the parents or the kids. Checking out some of the other projects, and seeing just how complex and professionally done they looked, I now understand why some moms and dads were so nervous. I’ve got more than a sneaking suspicion that a few parents couldn’t resist the same temptation I had and took over their kids’ project.  Either that or Olivia’s and Erin’s school has some mini Albert Einsteins and  Marie Curies in their midst.

Sure, Olivia noticed some of the more elaborate projects, but she was still pretty darned proud of her sugar experiment, and frankly so was I. Was it perfect? Nope. But she came up with a plan, executed it, and most importantly, she had fun. There was no yelling or screaming on my part forcing her to finish what she started.  Judging by that alone, it was a success.

Oh, so want to know what makes the sweetest lemonade? It wasn’t even close. Go for the fake stuff and mix in some Equal.

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