|Student's report on crystal making. (External Sample)
Jon Smith is a high school student who decided to write a science report on the factors influencing crystal formation in cooling bismuth. I think he did a really nice job: See for yourself. I particularly like the picture: Good thing bismuth isn't toxic considering this is obviously the family kitchen, complete with bread in the background.
The state of math and science education in this country is absolutely abysmal. At my kid's primary school they actually call the math curriculum "BS Math", which is an accurate description except for the fact that there is no actual math in the curriculum. (For some reason they always refer to it as BSM or Beginning School Math, but BS Math is by far the most appropriate form of the name.) There are many causes for the current horrible state of affairs, but I'm not going to get into that because seeing a nice student report like this gives one hope that maybe all is not lost.
This is what students all over should be doing: Something real. Doesn't have to be melting metal in the kitchen, just something real. I think it's great that there is at least one kid left in the country who isn't watching television instead of living.
Photographed: 11 January, 2004