Grippy and Cormo's Idea Plays
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copyright 2005


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I Hate Science -- Science Fair Projects

by Lois June Wickstrom

Another of my projects is trying to write a book on science fair projects. I'm writing this book because I  hate how science is often just memorizing the parts of a bug or copying  somebody else's experiment and being graded by whether you get the same results that somebody else got. That's not science.

If it were, nothing new would ever be invented. Nothing would ever be improved. Diseases would not be cured. There wouldn't even be new flavors of ice cream, or better graphics for cartoons. Almost everything new is the result of an experiment.

 People become scientists because they have questions. The answers to those questions weren't in science textbooks. They had to design experiments to learn the answers for themselves. Finding the answer to a question can be an experiment. And that's what this book is about.

Are you good at roller blading, killing plants, listening to music, or staining your clothes? What ever your interests or talents, you probably have questions. The hardest part of any experiment is asking the question. This book will help you do just that. Then it will help you design an experiment to answer your question. When you have the answer, you'll have your science fair project.

You won't spend hours drawing diagrams, reading books, memorizing or copying, or trying to do what somebody else has already done. Those are learning techniques that can be applied to any subject. But they aren't science.

A science fair project can take an afternoon, a week, or a month -- depending on your question. The important thing is that it is your question. And you will know when you have the answer.

You won't have to check your answer in the back of any book. It won't be there unless you write the book.

This isn't a book of science fair projects that other people have done that you can copy and turn in for your class. My hope is that each reader will have a different science fair project.

When you design your own experiment, there are no wrong answers.

That's what this book is about.

For an example of how to design a science fair project see the Science Fair link.  Pykrete and Rosemary are two experiments I've had fun with. And the Videos link describes some of the videos I've made.