Feb
20
2005

Weird Science

“So… what would you little maniacs like to do first?”
– Lisa

Today’s topic for young people is: How to Do a School Science-Fair Project.

I’ve had my fair share of science-fair projects, including one that involved Nair in my hair, which gave my Mom a good scare. Not all science-fair projects need to involve bodily alterations though. The most popular kind of projects are dioramas—which come from the Greek words dio, meaning “science-fair project,” and ramas, meaning “in a shoebox”—which are painfully constructed by sleep-deprived parents at 11:45pm because their kids rushed into their room, screaming, “Mommy! Daddy! I didn’t do my science-fair project and it’s due tomorrow! You have to do it for me!! DO IT FOR MEEEEEE!!!!”

So the parents muster every last molecule of Parental Love they can find (these are the molecules that repel the Strangle Your Children When They Wake You Up At Night Because They Forgot To Do Their Science-Fair Project molecules), pull themselves out of bed, and grab the nearest artifacts they can glue into a shoebox. That includes anything from cotton balls (“the clouds”) to toothpicks (“the trees”) to the cat (“George Bush”).

Once the diorama is complete, the next task is writing the report. It is always best to use a clear-front cover for your report. Teachers can’t resist clear-front covers. They drool all over them. Which is another incentive for clear-front covers: they are drool-resistant because they are made of polypropylene—which come from the Greek words poly for “many-sided,” and propylene for “proopie lane”, which really doesn’t make sense, but that’s because the Greeks were smoking crack when they invented words.

You can buy clear-front covers from Staples (motto: “We Sell Stuff Only Nerds Want”), as well as a plethora of other materials for your diorama. The more materials you have, the better off you will be. This is because a well-accessorized diorama means you’re rich; and rich people always succeed in life.

Ha ha, just kidding. A better-looking diorama isn’t actually a good thing. It makes you a target for bullies. They’ll beat you up, take your lunch money, and stick the cotton balls up your cat’s “proopie lane.” Then you’ll end up without a diorama.

But back to your report. Your report should show the steps of the Scientific Process: Purpose, Hypothesis, Procedures, Metamorphosis, Bargaining, Guilt, and finally, Acceptance. Charts and graphs can also be used to support and visualize your arguments. In fact, charts and graphs can sometimes be even more helpful, especially if you’re teacher are sick and tired from reading many reports with worst grammar and badly spelleng.

So screw your report; just include a bunch of colorful charts and graphs. You can take them right from well-established and respected news sources such as like Newsweek (motto: “We Make Serious News”) and The Onion (motto: “We Make Serious Poopie”). Just imagine how pleased your teacher will be when she sees the infographic: “What Wouldn’t We Mind Right Now?”—taken from the February 16th, 2005 issue of The Onion—and reads statistics such as: “11% – third quarter pounder; 24% – fifteen hours of sleep; 17% – container to catch vomit in.”

Armed with a realistic (and meowing) diorama and a professional (and totally plagiarized) report, you’re bound to get a good grade. But on the off-chance that, after following these time-proven techniques that I just made up a few minutes ago, you still get a bad grade, just remember that a bad grade isn’t the end of the world. You can always drop out and go back to school when you’re older. Take Kimani Maruge, an 84 year old great-grandfather in Kenya who—according to the article on Ananova.com entitled: “Octogenarian Schoolboy Faces Expulsion”—enrolled into the “infant class” at Kapkenduiywo (Greek for “to properly pronounce our name, make clicking sounds with your teeth and tongue”) Primary School.

What exactly is the “infant class”? Does that mean he was the only student not wearing a diaper? Well, at age 84, he probably was. Mr. Maruge was also apparently at the top of his class and even became the teacher’s pet, though the article doesn’t exactly specify how. My guess is he handed in a realistic diorama and a professional report with a clear-front cover.

. . .

Did you ever do a school science-fair project?

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