The other day I asked a friend of ours to be our kid’s science-parent. It’s like a godparent but with science instead of Jesus.
(The kid is not being raised in a religion. I have no ill will towards Jesus, just the way some people interpret his teachings).
Basically I did this because I would love it if she loved science. Personally I was always very interested in science but didn’t do so well in the school part of things. I loved learning about the elements and the composition of things, but I couldn’t for the life of me remember it all for a test. The only high school sciences I did well in were physics, which I thought was kind of awesome, and the genetics portion of biology.
I was also really good at math until they tried to teach me geometry and trigonometry. I still remember the quadratic equation, but ask me to graph something and I’m lost.
Science is awesome, and important, and I would dearly love to see all doors open to my daughter when she decides what she wants to be when she grows up.
People in my family always thought I would go into engineering because as a kid I loved taking things apart to see how they worked, and I always spurned instructions. By the time I got my Cs in Grade 11 bio and chemistry it was clearly not an option.
The stereotype is that girls are meant for arts degrees, but that’s crap. Even The Big Bang Theory addressed the lack of girls going into science. There are all sorts of campaigns that try to get girls interested in scientific careers, and more power to them, but my approach is simple – Show the kid that everyday things are science and that science is cool.
Hence, our science-parent. Let her see science, let her hear about it, embrace and understand that she’s capable of experimenting, asking questions and finding answers.
So far she loves mixing different colours and finding out what they make, she loves helping in the kitchen, which is all about measuring and chemical reactions, she loves learning about trees and nature (and still remembers what her Grandpa taught her about different trees).
Seriously, if she’s as interested in science class as I am, her excellent memory may be the thing that pushes her through.
Of course, if you asked her right now she would tell you she wants to be an acrobat, and that’s okay too.