Press-Republican

Columns

March 10, 2013

Blinding me with science

Many of us don’t understand it; some even fear it. Science, however, is responsible for virtually everything we have in some way, shape or form.

If we want to continue to grow and improve, we need to encourage our youngest generation to embrace science, innovation and rational thought.

One small example of what I mean was on display last weekend, when local junior high students traveled to a regional Science Olympiad competition, showcasing their knowledge and skills. Since there were no real reporters there, only me, I thought I would share some of the event’s highlights.

As an aside, playing They Might Be Giants’ CD “Here Comes Science” on a continuous loop is a tremendous way to psych up a junior science competitor on a two-hour drive to Potsdam. 

The song “I Am a Paleontologist” will stick in your head for days, however. Oh yes it will, oh yes it will, oh yes it will.

I have to say that in one short afternoon, I was astounded to find out how much I just don’t know. For instance, apparently, wizardry and science are two completely different things. Huh. Meteorology is not the study of meteors. And Pluto isn’t a planet anymore?

I also discovered that Science Olympians do not like being called nerds or geeks. If you insult them in such a way, they will not punch you in the nose or give you a wedgie. No. They will program your car alarm to play “I Am a Paleontologist” at 3 a.m. They will use your DNA to implicate you in the death of Hugo Chavez. They will dissolve your underwear with sonic vibrations.

Some of the events at the Science Olympiad were closed to the prying eyes of parents. Others, though, were open for everyone to see, and there was a lot of interesting stuff going on.

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