I'm soooooooooooooooooooooooo pissed right now.
So, Jake (P2) was supposed to go on to the regional science fair. And, in fact, it did. We filled out all the paperwork, sent in the fee, got him good and excited... today, he's told that he was disqualified before the fair even started because they added an addendum to their rules in the fall that said kids couldn't grow bacteria or molds in unapproved petri dishes. Only, the rule is NO WHERE on their website. I know because we read the rules before we started. And, hey...guess what? It wasn't even in the rule book when it was sent home so we could fill out a photographic release and microorganism use form. NOTHING. And, not to mention the fact that he got through this entire process (us, teachers, SCIENCE FAIR JUDGES) without anyone saying a damn word until today.
Apparently, there was a meeting in August for the County's science fair coordinators. Our teacher was supposed to go, but her dad was having his leg cut off. No, seriously. At that meeting, the rule was added as an addendum. And, supposedly, an updated rule book was sent to each teacher. I'm calling bullshit!! If a new book was created, then why did we get the OLD set of rules SIX months later?
Another point of contention: They claim that they made this rule because of the Staph and MRSA outbreaks this fall. But, magically...they had the foresight to create a rule IN AUGUST because of a problem that would break public news in September. Screw the science fair - these people are psychic!!! And, let's just ignore the part where THERE WERE NO SLIDES OR PETRI DISHES ON HIS PROJECT: only pictures. So, apparently the evil germs can be transmitted by pictures now?
But, wait...there's more. Jake's project would've been allowed if we had just bought preprepared petri dishes from a special company in South Carolina. Of course, there's nothing that says that in the rule book or website. Apparently, the company in South Carolina sells culture medium that won't grow certain ogranisms because they've been treated with antibiotics. Which, don't you think that kind of defeats the purpose? I do. OH! And, I love the part where she insinuated that what we did was dangerous and did we think it was okay to expose our child to MRSA and Staph? Apparently, being alarmist is part of the scientific method now.
In short...I have a kid who wasn't very into science before this project; who got excited BECAUSE he realized he COULD do science; who was supposed to go on to the Regional Fair; who is now in tears because his project was disqualified for a rule that no one at his school knew about and isn't published in any of the materials.
Way to go KCSOS!!! You've crushed a kid who was interested in science and put his heart and soul into the project to make it great. You've set limitations on science. You've championed your disorganized ways over what is right and fair for a child. You've also, in not well couched language, questioned the safety of my home and determined what parts of science we are allowed to explore with our child.
My son followed the rules as they were published. With the application of this stupid rule, you've punished my son for the failure of his teachers. Brilliant!!
...and we wonder why, as a country, we suck at science education. Unbelievable.