Science Fair Time!


Dillon got his science fair stuff about a week ago.  And it was kind of galvanizing.  He has, since we went to a wedding at Sweetwater Organics this summer, been talking about doing an aquaponics experiment for science fair this year.  And in August, when we had seven months to work on it, I thought it was a great idea.  Of course, we didn’t start in August.  So when we realized we had about ten weeks to complete the experiment and report the results, I got a little panicky.

I admit it, I tried to talk him into an easier experiment.  We had heard a story on NPR about a guy saying he found a mouse in his mountain dew, and Pepsi’s official response being “a mouse totally would have dissolved in mountain dew.”  Aside from the total ick factor of a dead animal dissolving in a can of soda, D and I wondered if that was true and thought it would be a pretty funny thing to test.  I felt like using a chicken wing instead of a mouse might be a reasonable way of testing it, but my vegetarian son didn’t think putting any parts of a dead animal into a soda really sounded like it was his thing.

So we returned to aquaponics, after reiterating that we don’t have a heck of a lot of time, and something vague about seed germination, and did I mention I have killed every houseplant I’ve ever tried to care for?  But D is really serious about it.  So we went on the official Sweetwater tour on Wednesday, and D asked some very reasonable questions, and we bought the (kind of expensive) bible of aquaponics, and he has since read most of it.  He definitely now knows way more about it that Charles or I, and sat for a good part of the day today planning out what we need to buy and how everything is going to fit together.  So we are going forward with it, and I think it is going to be a learning experience for all of us.

Tomorrow our goal is to purchase materials and figure out if you can actually buy seeds in Wisconsin in January.  Some of these things might need to be ordered…  But in the meantime, if anyone has an old fishtank that needs a new home, or pumps, hoses, or shale gravel, please do let me know!

Dillon with one of his inspirations at Sweetwater

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2 Responses to “Science Fair Time!”

  1. elizabeth says:

    That boy just tugs on my heart. What an awesome project! Wish I could be there to watch it develop! I have some seeds. What are you looking for?

  2. molly says:

    We ordered them online: basil, spinach, and arugula. We are just waiting for the aquarium testing kit and some hoses or something to be delivered and he’ll be ready to start.

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