What IS it with these liberal air-head PC-based 'educators' today?
AMHERST, Mass. (AP) - Two eighth-graders who spent months working on a science project to prove how dangerous BB guns can be were disqualified from the state middle school science fair. The reason for the dismissal: BB guns are too dangerous.Uh .... well, that was sort of the point of the project.
Nathan C. Woodard and Nathaniel A. Gorlin-Crenshaw spent seven months researching and testing their hypothesis that BB guns can be deadly and should not be used by children.It's not as if their project was a simple matter of putting a couple of BB guns on a board for people to view. They actually tested the penetrating power of BBs as a means of demonstrating that they COULD cause harm. And they ponied up the money so they could perform scientific testing under controlled conditions to prove the point of their thesis.
The students spent about $200 on ballistics gelatin, which has the same density and consistency as human flesh, to use during their tests.
How can a display of tests results be dangerous?
Nancy G. Degon, vice president of Massachusetts State Science Fair Inc. and co-chair of the middle-school fair, said fair rules prohibit hazardous substances and devices.
"The scientific review committee does not consider science projects involving firearms to be safe for middle school students," Degon said.
Excuse me ... "firearms"? A BB gun isn't a firearm. Where's the fire? Don't these pedantic pedagogues understand the English Language?
These are firearms:
This is a BB gun:
Or is it that they are so desperate to cleave to the letter of the law that they are willing to ignore the spirit of the event, which is to give young people the opportunity to learn by performing their own scientific research?
I think they did, too. This is especially surprising in that the point is entirely in line with the political bias of the silly-putty education system.
The boys were invited to present their findings to some judges and receive a certificate of accomplishment, but they rejected the offer because they were not allowed to compete."I was really disappointed," Woodard said. "We had a good point to prove.
I'm not the only one who was outraged by this news story.
Our friend Jeff sent me a copy of the letter which he sent to the Science Fair board and the editor of the largest paper in Massachusetts ... The Boston Globe. I'm not sure they'll recognize satire when they read it, but I thought Jeff made his point clear.
Massachusetts State Science Fair Folk:
Thank You, Thank You, Thank You for disqualifying those
two young miscreants, Nathan C. Woodard and Nathaniel A.
Gorlin-Crenshaw from the Massachusetts Middle School State
As you know, in the 1960s (when I grew up), only 58% of
all elementary students and 31% of all Junior High
School students survived the dangerously permissive
official education policies of the day.
Several of my fellow students were killed daily from
shooting BB guns, carrying pocket knives, having photographs
of firearms in school, taking aspirins brought from home
without the supervision of a Board-certified Registered
Nurse, unsupervised play in woodlands, listening to radios
that plugged into the dangerous AC mains, and wearing
T-shirts expressing controversial ideas. The bodies
littered the gym floor. It's a miracle that any of us
lived to reproduce!
Thank God that today there are people like you to protect
the children from parent- and police-supervised study of
By the way, I see an oversight in your official rules.
While you state that the Middle Schoolers may not do a
project that involves "Nonhuman vertebrate animals", the
rules do not prohibit projects involving "Human (presumably
vertebrate) animals". I can see a project involving Human
Sexuality, in which two Middle-schoolers have sex in
alternate weeks and determine the exact moment of conception,
with video documentation. (A second pair of students will
use condoms, perhaps, as a control). This doesn't seem to
violate your published rules: perhaps a "no sex" rule is
called-for? Of course, you'll need to define what "sex" is,
in very explicit terms, so that the children will know what
you are prohibiting.
Please enhance your protection of the children, and keep
up the good work!
(By the way, please tell Nancy G. Degon that a BB gun is *not*
a firearm. She sounds stupid when she says that.)
Jeff M. [last name deleted by the Geek]
If you aren't convinced, you can read the Massachusetts State Science Fair rules.
The only mention of "firearms" is included in this section:
Controlled substances, including DEA-classed substances, prescription drugs, alcohol and tobacco, must be acquired and used according to existing local, state and federal laws. Student researchers must adhere to all regulations governing controlled substances. Production of alcohol is federally regulated and students must contact the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms for regulations and permission. Students under 21 years of age are prohibited by federal laws from purchasing and or handling smokeless powder or black powder for science projects.
This obviously does not apply.
Why was this project rejected?
Could it be that the Ms Degon had her own political agenda?
We can only wonder what 'the children' learned from this, other than that people who have authority often abuse their authority.