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Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Nothing Says Summer Like Molecular Polarity. And Prosthetics.

This morning we drew "Science Projects" from our faux fishbowl. It is actually a white paper gift bag, but I'm also suffering from a peeper virus, so the "summer to dos" still haven't been typed and placed in the requisite glass bowl. 

Anyhow. We're mostly fully centered on All Things Olympic these days, but we're determined to be true to our summer projects. So today found us working through a few semi-exciting and possibly explosive (if you have little boys and mix most any substances, they are tickled pink with the prospect of bubbles, let alone potential kitchen table eruption!) science projects.  We did a lesson on "molecular polarity" and the cheeky set of directions I used suggested "molecular polarity" was a great term to use at dinner parties. My kind of witty science!

Our homemade lava lamps didn't rival those I admired in my brothers' bedroom circa late '70s/early '80s, but it was interesting and delightfully messy nonetheless.  Fun was had by all and science lessons learned, too.

But in keeping with our normal Olympic theme and life in London these days, we happened upon a Paralympic exhibit today which was stunning. Fascinating, really. It was sponsored by a company that makes prosthetics. These are highly sophisticated pieces of technology. While it is heartbreaking to know the employees felt a kinship with my big American brood because the US government is such a good customer, it was also awe inspiring to see how they have absolutely changed lives and enhanced the world for countless people who need their products. Most of whom are not competitive athletes.

My childrens' lives are rich with experiences and a general worldliness that I couldn't have imagined at their ages or even when they were born. Today I considered how different the life of a person is in 2012 because of these ongoing technological advances in science. It was great for all of us to witness such practical, life changing use of science.

I'm fairly sure that I lack the ability to articulate technological, generational leaps to the children. To explain to them how much can change in 10-15 years time. Someone without a natural leg might be able walk or run right next to them exactly as they move, and now they'll have a better understanding of how that is possible.

It was pure providence to be exposed to this "science" lesson today. And now we're even more inspired to cheer for the Paralympic athletes. Go Heinrich! Go Ottobock!

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