Sunday, 8 February 2009


Two boys, two pull-back cars and one excitable dog. I suppose there might have been hope that some science would be learned, but by the time one car developed an irreparable sideways trajectory, and the dog sat on the car, the ruler, the pencil and the results page, hilarity was the only result.

The dog was exiled to the kitchen and a little measuring took place, plus a lot of sitting-on-your-brother. We took apart the wayward pull-back car to see the spring, but couldn't break our way into the central mechanism, so contented ourselves with discussing gearing and trying to work out how to reassemble the car. Finally, we sat down on the sofa to put together thoughts on kinetic, potential, and elastic potential energy, as well as gravitational and centripetal forces.

Whenever lessons get too silly I always feel guilty; I have to remind myself that the boys would probably have learned no more in a science class at school from a teacher trying to deal with twenty or thirty pupils (all with wayward pull-back cars, if not with dogs).

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