Adventures in Ethics and Science

It’s June already, and we still have not finalized summer plans for the Free-Ride offspring. (Hey, my semester just ended, and it was only yesterday that I wrapped up the Large Administrative Task That Shall Not Be Named Now That It’s Finally Done. I’ve been a little distracted.)

Anyway, given that we’re at the stage of summer planning where there are a lot of ideas still on the table, I decided to ask the Free-Ride offspring to muse on any science-y aspects of the possible summer activities they are considering.

Here’s the younger Free-Ride offspring’s list:

Sailing lessons.
We might want to study:

  • water
  • other chemicals in the H2O
  • bacteria

(“What about wind and sails?” I asked. I was admonished that if I butted in, I would have to make my own list, so I put a cork in it.)

Art camp.
We might want to study:

  • the color spectrum
  • the chemicals in paint
  • the elements in clay

Golf camp
We might want to study:

  • leverage
  • velocity
  • acceleration

Ballet lessons.
We might want to study:

  • the physics of twirling
  • gravity
  • anatomy

(Quoth the younger offspring: “Gravity has to do with leaping. Without gravity, you would never come down.”)

Creative dramatics workshop.
We might want to study:

  • joints (“Because you need them to walk or dance or motion with your hands.”)
  • voice box
  • nerves

The elder Free-Ride offspring could only come up with one planned summer activity, playing video games all day.

“Yeah, right,” said I. “But you can include that on your list and think of what might be science-y about video games.”

“Nothing,” replied the elder offspring in a tone one expects from a 15-year-old (but maybe not so much from a 10-year-old). “There’s nothing science-y about them.”

“Think of all the software and hardware design that goes into them!” I implored.

“That’s not science,” the elder offspring said flatly. “That’s engineering.”

Maybe I can be the one who goes off to camp for the summer?

In the meantime, the elder offspring drew this picture of the science lurking in a summer sunset.

i-c8793a5656ab530d341f43d653ba79cd-ScienceSummerSmall.jpg

The object in the foreground is a cluster of tall buildings (whose magnetic fields are what is rendered in the drawing).

Comments

  1. #1 chezjake
    June 4, 2010

    I’d like to endorse the sailing lessons. With a good instructor they are fun, a bit adventurous, good exercise, and a chance to learn the rudiments of navigation and the physics of pulleys. My own (on Penobscot Bay back in the dark ages before color TV) also provided opportunities to observe porpoises and seals in the wild.

    NB: Provide potent sunscreen even on cloudy days.

  2. #2 LO
    June 4, 2010

    If LATTSNBNNTIFD is what I think it is, my brother just finished his semester too and his attention is now turning to potty training my nieces. Science-y aspects? Psychology (how to motivate them), the digestive system, plumbing/water treatment (or is that too engineering?). Sailing sounds much more fun to me.

    They’re collecting 2-liter bottles via the SLAC flea market so I’m guessing the rumors of the demise of Kids Day were unfounded. I haven’t heard a date yet, but I believe EO and YO are both eligible this year if they’re interested.

  3. #3 Uncle Fishy
    June 7, 2010

    Two words: math camp. It was good enough for the previous generation.

  4. #4 RMD
    June 8, 2010

    I know exactly what that 10yo going on 15 and Younger Offspring need for a sciencey summer – a visit to Uncle Fishy to help him build the chicken coop!