Science kid

I debated long and hard over whether to share this. On the one hand, as you’ll see, I’m a proud dad right now. On the other, I don’t want it to seem like I am showing off. No-one likes a showoff.
But then no, I don’t do this sort of thing often (despite having great kids) and I do want to shout this from the metaphorical rooftops. If you have a negative opinion on my decision to do so, well, so be it.

The backstory: Earlier in the year, my 10 year old son did a science project for school. He investigated whether using stored grey water to water plants had any effect on their growth. This is important, because at home, we store any spare grey water in order to water the garden, and we don’t want to kill our plants. Topical then; a neat little project which worked out nicely, got him a certificate at school and an invitation (along with a handful of other students) to take it to the Eskom Expo for Young Scientists at UCT.

In the intervening six weeks, the boy wonder addressed the shortfalls in his initial experiment and basically did the whole thing again on a much larger scale, working literally every day throughout the school holidays.

Flash forward to the present day (well, almost): The Eskom Expo happened on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday last week. The boy, along with 900 other students, went and set up 492 projects in the infamously chilly UCT Sports Hall.

Part of the Expo setup – from their FB page.

The students then had to present their experiment and were interviewed by several (or more) judges and the projects were graded accordingly.

His school did really, really well at the Expo. And I knew that his was a good project, done well. And look, given the disclaimer above, you can probably kind of guess where this is going. But I had no idea.

He won a gold medal, a special award for one of the best Environmental projects and a special award for one of the best primary school projects. We were astounded.

And then they awarded him the inaugural Priscilla Moodley Award for the Best Primary School Project at the Expo. His was the best project out of the 100 submitted in his age group. Amazing.

So yeah. I’m a proud dad right now. The kid seems to be going places, possibly following his dad into the hopelessly underfunded, but still often rather fun world of science. [screams internally: DON’T DO IT!!!!]

UPDATE: Oh, and because people are asking:
He discovered that the length of time that grey water is stored for (he tested fresh, 1 week and >1 month) has no discernable effect on plant growth, and that any grey water is better than potable water (his control) for both numbers of seeds germinating & average plant height.

  • The Pete

    That is fantastic and even if he doesn’t pursue the scientific path at least getting that level of experience in presenting and taking part in the expo really is a massive life and learning experience in itself.

  • The Pete > Thank you. And yes, agreed – great experience. They don’t get to take part next year, but hopefully he knows what’s expected of him if he wants to go again in the future. And what standard he’s set himself. I think he’s learned a lot. 🙂

  • Arthur Streeb-Greebling Snr

    Well done to your lad.

  • Professor Arthur Streeb-Greebling Snr > Thank you. 🙂