Monday, March 9, 2015

a science day in the middle school

opening doors with science

an infant must be as a scientist,
for how to walk, and how to talk,
require trial and error, trial and error and error,
before success,
the constant venturing forth of effort in search of result,
the constant check of reality upon desire,

there’s joy in discovery for the infant,
so much new, and bright, and wondrous,

that joy in discovery,
that appreciation of a flower, a bug, a smile from a parent,
can continue to joy a preschooler, and an elementary schooler,

I feel we in middle school have a tradition to maintain,
to keep alive the learner who acts 
to understand and appreciate the world as a scientist,
to appreciate that the answers to the puzzles of existence,
that math and science reveal with focused effort,
are accessible and right,

at our Science Day this March,
our keynoter, Glenn Murphy, carried us all
on a safari of discovery about predators,

17 workshops followed him as presenters 
shared their love of their work,
with microscopes and DNA,

baboons and the brain,

visual illusions and sound’s secrets,
Newton on the basketball court,

Barbee bungee-jumping after equations predict the physics,

experiments, expositions, and constructions

of planes, LED lights, marble chutes,
an advisee challenge—

all building up to a science fair from about half the school,
as students ventured hypotheses and procedures
to answer specific questions,
and those who had the creativity and discipline 
to persevere on all counts
were awarded science kits to go further on their own,

all in all, a day to celebrate how open the doors can be
that lead from not knowing
to the universe releasing a bit of its secrets,

to be as a scientist can have the joy of discovery
if the right effort opens the door,
and then we know.

by Henry H. Walker
March 7, ’15

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