Parenting Blog

Thank You, Science

 Bayer TkU Camp Invention OWTK

Thank you, Mrs. Yoder.

Thank you, Camp Invention.

Thank you for doing what I’m not always capable of doing if surrounded by all that glue, all those shreds of paper, all those nuts and bolts, all the eager hands in there bumping against each other longing to be a part of something fantastic. Something inventive. Thank you for inspiring the curious minds of my two science-loving daughters.

With the exception of a stray fractional division problem, I can spit out answers to mental math equations with relative ease. I get this ability from my dad. It’s a neat party trick. But when my 8-year-old turns to me during a Michigan State football game, with wide eyes and a bottomless well of eagerness, and asks how we are able to watch on TV what is happening 10 hours away in the middle of Michigan, I, ummm, science? I’m useless here because, to be honest, I am, at age nearly-40, still in awe of the science and technology behind a simple transistor radio; let alone television, the internet, smartphones, holograms, air travel, cruise ships, microwave ovens and more. I’ve only recently come to understand fully the science behind the modern marvel that is the melon baller. 😉

Bayer has had a program for the past two decades that helps students make sense of science. Inconveniently, I graduated from high school 21 years ago. Thanks for nothing, Bayer. But my girls and thousands upon thousands of bright young students like them will grow up better, with a clearer grasp of how this and that work and came to be, and how they might shape an improved future with innovative science and tech. To celebrate its 20th anniversary, Bayer’s Making Science Make Sense® (MSMS) initiative is now asking students to say “thank you” to someone who helped foster their curiosity around science.

Between now and November 25th, simply post a photo with a hand- written “thank you,” a short video or a written message to or on your social networks using the hashtag #SayTkU. For each “thank you” message shared, Bayer will provide a child with free admission to a STEM venue, such as a trip to a local science museum, fostering hands-on science-focused exploration.

Pretty rad, right? Having manners, being curious and saying “thank you” has rarely ever been THIS rewarding. A simple TkU from you and/or your child will directly help to instill a love of science and scientific possibility in another child.

Back at Camp Invention, this past summer Mrs. Yoder taught my oldest daughter that massive structures could be built with nothing more than flimsy newspaper and masking tape. Along with her mates on the project, my 11-year-old constructed a nearly 6 foot high monument to ingenuity, creative thinking, teamwork and, above all else, to science. Then, back at home she collected a metric ton of newspaper from her grandfather to work on additional projects and to stretch the limits of this style of architecture. Add that to my youngest girl’s continuing fascination with Antoni Gaudi and it’s not hard to imagine a more renewable and curvy future! All thanks to Mrs. Yoder, Camp Invention, the wondrous world of science, Bayer, and the special teachers who help make science make sense.Camp Invention 2015

Remember, you and your kids have the power to inspire other students by giving thanks to a special teacher, nurse, scientist, doctor or other mentor who once did or is currently sparking scientific imagination in your own life. That’s beyond awesome. Post your “thank you” on or on your social networks using the hashtag #SayTkU through November 25, 2015.

*We’d be remiss if we didn’t also say thank you to Ms. Frizzle. The Magic School Bus series of TV programs and books are the longest running source of inspiration for my youngest daughter, a little lady I have taken to calling, The Mad Scientist. She’s got a million ideas in her brilliant head and someday soon she’s gonna change the world for the better. She’s already changed mine.

OWTK has received compensation from Bayer for my participation in the TkU campaign. They believe I can and will encourage more families to #SayTkU to a science mentor or teacher, so let’s not prove them wrong. Make a sign, snap a pic and give the gift of science to a child. Thank YOU!

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