At this ripe ol’ age of mine , I’ve discovered that science rocks! Science is actually an ibadat – to examine, realize, understand and uncover the magnificence of Allah’s creation is so invigorating.

I say this after having worked with my science-loving 8 year-old daughter on her science fair project. She insisted that she wanted to find the cure for cancer…I was like ok, I know it might be part of your genetic make-up to whip up last minute stuff (having a mother who started and finished a year’s worth of a 30 page research paper in 2 days while 7 months pregnant with a strange kidney ailment), but I don’t think we can pull THAT off in 5 weeks. So instead the focus shifted to cancer prevention.

Her interest in science excites me because everyone else in my family and her dad’s family are pretty much arts-oriented. My uncle with the 3 doctor (and 1 dentist) children would often ask my dad, what happened to your kids? How come everyone ran away from the “hallowed” field of science?

If anyone could have done it, my sister, with her ever-inquiring mind and earnest quest for new research (and ability to retain it) would have made a fine doctor or researcher. Instead, she opted to follow her older siblings down the artsy route. I think once in a while she sighs about that decision.

As for me, I laugh at my inability to understand science – especially biology and chemistry – in the olden days. It felt so dead. I hated it. I struggled to come up with experiment ideas for classes and actually handed in an experiment on whether ice melts faster in open hot water or sealed cold water when I was in GRADE SEVEN! I laugh now but I cried then when I received a D on that ground-breaking project. It reminded me of a brilliant speech I heard from a science educator at a conference. He was speaking about how by junior high, science is not often taught in meaningful ways:

“If you ask a child in grade 1 to tell you about science, they answer it’s butterflies and water and windmills and if you ask them in grade 4, they answer it’s making cars and castle doors that move and if you ask them in grade 8, they say it’s period 7 on Mondays and Wednesdays.”

So, now as I see this awakening interest in science in my daughter, I hope to welcome and encourage it – and to engage in it with her (so that I can learn a thing or two myself). It is so exciting…did you know that I finally understand the scientific method?

* If you can, check out the Sultans of Science exhibit at the Ontario Science Center. It’s amazing and only on until the beginning of May.

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