Science and Technology

Saturday night Lex went to bed with a plan for Sunday. He wanted to build a DNA strand (or many, as he tends to do) out of clay. He woke up Sunday with the additional plan to build a set of simple machines. I called the day Science Sunday.

He got started with the DNA strand, knowing that it would take time to dry before painting.

dna

DNA in clay

While the clay dried, he went to work on building his simple machines – a lever, a pulley, a inclined plane, and a wheel and axle. I asked what he planned to do with them and he thought maybe he’d start a science store. Ambitious.

hard at work

Lex is hard at work, making an inclined plane at 7am.

all smiles

All smiles! Proud little guy.

I went out for a run (ha! a walk, really) and came home to find him writing a book about DNA. Eve was writing a book called “The Day of Dogs.” They were both hard at work!

[I’ll take a picture of the book later. It’s pretty cool.]

Our neighbor came over a bit later and distracted them from their work, then another neighbor came over and that was the end of Science Sunday. Later Lex tried to paint his DNA model, but it fell apart and he got frustrated so he grabbed the iPad and gave himself some quiet times…

Which leads me to my latest musings on technology. It’s really hard to balance how much is good or too much. I feel like they’ve had a lot of media lately, but for the most part it’s all educational. Starfall, Garageband (educational?), What Ifs, etc. He had a lot of information in his head about DNA from a BrainPop video he watched. When he started asking me questions about DNA I debated about whether or not to grab a computer and do some researching with him. Educational, yes, but still screen time and still very easy to get lost in the computer.

This morning he decided to work on his Mindcuber program (reprogramming it to “solve” the cube in a checkerboard pattern) and he spent the entire morning working on it. He was thinking hard, I’m sure, but still he sat in front of a computer for hours. I finally had him turn it off at lunch time and come outside for awhile. He didn’t object, much, but after lunch when he went back to work on his DNA project he asked about watching the BrainPop video again and I was again torn between education and screen time.

This afternoon he decided he wants to create a weekly science show. Each week will be a different theme. He even made up a science calendar as an addition to the show.

making a calendar

I suggested he just use the penguin one, but he preferred to make a science one instead.

calendar

He started with January. :)

We spent the evening discussing logistics of a weekly vlog (video blog). He wants to do a puppet show with a host and a different guest each week. This week the guest is Mrs. DNA. More on that later.

Sounds cool, right? It also sounds like he’ll be spending all of his time on the computer! Oh, the balance. If he was just asking to play Mine Craft or Angry Birds all day long it would be an easy no, but these requests are harder.

Life with a smart boy!

Stay tuned for Lex to launch his own blog and/or YouTube channel. I’ll keep ya posted.

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