The Seven-Year-Old practices her mad scientist cackle

Background: This semester we gave The Seven-Year-Old the option to sign up for two after school classes. She picked Old School Sports, which teaches you to play old-fashioned games like Four Square and (The Seven-Year-Old fervently hopes) badminton. She also picked Crazy Chemworks. 

Daddyo: “How did you pick Crazy Chemworks?”

The Seven-Year-Old: “I get to be a scientist for once.”

Daddyo: “Why do you want to be a scientist?”

The Seven-Year-Old: “I want to study whooping cranes.”

Daddyo: “How will Crazy Chemworks help?”

The Seven-Year-Old: “I want to make medicines to help whooping cranes.”


The Seven-Year-Old: “And I want to make explosions with science.”

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About Shala Howell

I spent two decades helping companies like Bell Labs, Juniper Networks, and a genetic testing company that was later acquired by CVS translate some of the world’s most complicated concepts into actionable, understandable English. Now I'm working on a much harder problem -- fostering children’s curiosity and engagement in the scientific, artistic, and linguistic world that surrounds them. The first book in my Caterpickles Parenting Series, What’s That, Mom?, focuses on how to use public art to nurture children’s curiosity in the world around them. My next book will focus on science, and how parents without a science degree can answer their curious child's questions without enrolling in a college level refresher course. In the meantime, you can find me blogging about life with a very curious Eleven-Year-Old at, chatting about books and the writing life at, and tweeting about books, writing, science, & things that make me smile at @shalahowell.
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