Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Much To Be Proud Of

Of course, I'm proud of my boys any time of the day, but they've both managed some special moments for themselves these past few days.

Aidan was sick last week, and so was away from school on the week they had their science fair. This year the school made participation mandatory for grades four through seven. Teachers marked each project for part of their class science mark, and then chose the top five to go on to a school-wide event. Because Aidan wasn't there, he wasn't able to do the oral presentation for his teacher, but she was so impressed with his project (more on that in a moment) that she moved him on. On Friday I showed up at the school to pick up the project and was met by one of the judges out in the parking lot (some of the parents are scientists/researchers, and so were judges). She told me she was monumentally impressed with his project, and so were the other judges, and felt that if he did a good oral presentation the next week, he should go on. Kids were excitedly telling me the same in the hallway, and the principal confirmed this. And so on Monday a still-tied Aidan attended school and did his oral presentation twice, once for class and once for a judge. And wouldn't you know it, he moves on to the regional science fair up at UNBC, one of six from his school.

The project was on greenhouse gases. He took a terrarium and built a small city on a landform on one side and another landform on the other, using Lego and clay. In between was the "ocean," and on the second landform was a "glacier," a large block of ice. The terrarium was lidded, with a thermometer probe inside, and then a fairly hot work lammp was shone from the outside. Temperatures were taken every fifteen minutes, and the time the glacier finished melting was marked. Then it was done a second time, with CO2 added by mixing baking soda and vinegar, and then it was done a third time, with CO2 also added midway through. Interestingly, that third test sped up the melting and brought the temperature up higher at the end. All this came to Aidan because he recently watched An Inconvenient Truth. I'll update after the regional event.

As for Brennan, he turned 8 last week, and for his party this past weekend he decided he didn't want his friends to bring presents. Instead, he asked them to bring the approximate equal amount of money, and is donating that money to the African Wildlife Foundation to adopt some animals and now, because he received so much money, he'll adopt a polar bear as well. With the money he kicked in himself, he received over $300, which means he'll be doing several adoptions.

I had talked with Aidan about doing something like this, since he's soon going to be 11, but I hadn't intended to broach the subject yet with Bren. But he overheard us talking, and decided he would do it himself. And so we put our heads together and searched for a good place for the money to go. It was a big decision for a little guy, and he handled himself with aplomb the whole time. Not even cranky after the fact when it might have hit home that he wouldn't be getting the usual haul of presents.


Very, very cool. What a great pair of kids you and Jo have -- but hey, no surprise when the parents are as on the ball as you two are. :)
My sentiments exactly.

He'll remember that and feel good every time he watches a wildlife special, long after the toys would have broken down or lost their appeal.
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