Molly the Scientist

Molly is my little scientist. Takes after her father who actually took the school science fairs seriously as a kid. He even went to the National Science Fair. Not to mention that he volunteered as a judge at our regional science fair when our kids were little because he was too impatient to wait for them to be old enough to compete. My big science fair project on the other hand was comparing which laundry detergent got stains out better. That’s more sad foreshadowing than it is science.

Molly and Nerdguy have been doing science experiments together since she was a toddler. She has a microscope and test tubes and knows her way around a circuit board. Her mind works like his too…always questioning…my GOD the questions…from both of them! Whereas I really only care how something works when it is broken. Actually that’s a lie. I never care how things work. Just fix it. Don’t draw me a napkin diagram explaining why my car has turned on me (I’m looking at you Dad), or detailing how my HVAC system works. It just becomes awkward when I use it to wipe the cake icing off my face.

Last year Molly participated in something similar to a science fair, called Destination Imagination. She and her team built a working volcano out of chicken wire and paper mache, and they had to design clothing that would survive the volcano environment.

molly's volcano

This took up the entire back of the minivan and barely fit through doorways. And then lived in our garage for six months when Molly refused to part with it. It was not the only thing in danger of erupting.


Cue the duct tape – every nerdy scientist’s trusty assistant.

Nerdguy was excited to work with Molly and her team on their project, but he was only allowed to be there for guidance and not to give them ideas. I’m sure he could barely contain himself.

Molly originally wanted to do a technical project but she couldn’t find anyone else who wanted to do that category. Most of the girls wanted to do drama. In the end a group was formed, made up mostly of people who I think signed on just at the promise of being able to make something explode. It was a challenging few months for Nerdguy and I think the supervising teacher was in the process of drawing up sainthood paperwork in his name in the event he should die during the process. It was a real possibility.

When he heard that they made it to the provincial competition he was torn between the glee of his science fair glory days and the horror of his extended sentence. If they had made the worlds I’m sure he would no longer be with us.

Many of the members of the group didn’t go to the provincial competition so Molly had to pick up the slack. She did an amazing job of remembering three people’s lines and presenting their project. She was beaming when she came home with Nerdguy. None of the challenges that she faced mattered. She had officially caught the science fair bug.

Do you have a science-loving child? Netflix has a whole bunch of shows geared to our kids who would rather hang out in lab coats than tutus or sports jerseys:

For Your Little kids:


And Your Big Kids:


Here are the instructions for making your own working volcano. It’s one of those impressive experiments that is great for reeling in the reluctant scientists and convincing them that science is fun.

volcano craft netflix

Disclosure – I am a member of the Netflix Stream Team and receive perks throughout the year for my participation. In other words, I have the best job ever.

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