Science Moment.Posted: November 6, 2011
I spent all Saturday with hundreds of science-loving middle school girls at Utah’s Expanding Your Horizons. The girls had dozens of workshops to choose from. I taught one on light.
The event is put on to “motivate young women in science and mathematics”, but from the conversations I had with these girls, most of them are already there. Beyond motivated. One quiet 6th grader pulled me aside and asked, “what’s your take on the recent finding that a neutrino traveled faster than the speed of light? How will it impact science if Einstein’s theories are wrong?”
. . .
During the final assembly, I sat by a 7th grader who cupped her hands over her heart and exclaimed:
–“This has been the best day of my whole year!”
—me, smiling: “You’ve had a good time today, huh?”
—7th grade girl: “OH yeah! I couldn’t come last year because my parents couldn’t afford it. But this year I saved up my allowance money so I could come.”
—me: “Wow. You paid your own way to come here? How much did it cost?”
—7th grade girl: “$16”
—me: “How much money do you get for allowance?”
—7th grade girl: “1 dollar a week.”
—me: “That’s impressive. You saved your allowance money for 16 weeks to be able to come spend a full Saturday doing science?”
—7th grade girl: “Well, one week I got 2 dollars.”
I still regret that I didn’t reach into my wallet and hand her the $20 bill I had sitting there, to help her come again next year.