Not too long ago it was Science Week in Madrid, Spain. And, as a science mom, the part where I can contribute is science education. I was invited to participate with other science parents in activities at my daughter’s school. We visited several classrooms to get them familiar with two concepts: yeast digestion and chromatography.
To make things a little interesting, we saw how yeast inflates balloons when producing carbon dioxide (CO2):
And using chromatography, the children made beautiful flowers that they could take home:
Afterward, I also shared chromatography concepts with kids at a children’s fair where a science NGO called Apadrina la Ciencia had a stand teaching fascinating science for kids like DNA, microscopes, density experiments, flies (in the picture below), and more!
Each child had a different take on the activities they carried and every one of them had something to say. Some of them remembered the experiment from previous years and wanted to try again. None of them wasted their time, even if what they were doing was just a flower.
Some day, when someone says “chromatography” in a science class, they will have a vague but beautiful memory of a colorful flower, and science won’t sound dry or lame. To me that’s so worth it.