Mad scientist in the house

Nicole participated in her school's science fair a little more than a week ago, but the real fun was watching her dedication to her project: Rotten Apples.

At our house, we find ourselves answering questions covering a WIDE variety of topics, usually before we've even had lunch. One of our recurring topics, though, is decomposition and decay. The kids want to know how long it would take [name any household item (i.e., refrigerator, fish tank, fork, little sister, etc.)] to decay. So we set up Nicole's science project to yield us some icky, decomposed, gooey shtuff.

Prepared, Nicole is. We started well in advance, and she checked on her specimens weekly to record their changes. But her favorite part, I think, was preparing her display board for the actual fair. Here's my girl, hard at work:

A look at the apple slice she submerged in water and let stand for 4 weeks. Did I mention her project had a great "ick" factor?

But the best, no doubt about it, BEST part of the experience, was seeing Nicole's face the night of the actual fair. After she set up her board, showed it off to her friends, answered the reviewer's questions all by herself, and got her certificate:

Now, if that's not a girl who's proud of herself, I don't know what is.

And I'm proud of her, too.

P.S. Apparently, they don't crown a winner at these things anymore. Am I weird that I really wanted somebody to have a blue ribbon? Some of the projects were so clearly parent-done that I wanted some qualified person (not me) to choose which kid had actually done the best job. Oh, well.

P.P.S. Nearly 300 kids participated in her grade school science fair.... and they crammed ALL of them into the gym. ALL of them. Thank goodness we had a spot by the open door to rainy Portland evening air. Ahhhhh.