I love both the idea and the lessons behind this project writer Mike Adamick took on with his daughter during her winter break from kindergarten.
Emmeline wanted to know what life was like underwater for the crabs she and her dad caught in San Francisco Bay. So the two of them brainstormed and figured out a way to answer her question. Together, they built a "crab cam," using an iPhone attached to a crab net.
The results were underwhelming.
But here's the awesome thing. Instead of throwing in the towel, Mike used the experience as a way of showing his daughter was scientific inquiry is really like. Sometimes, your experiments don't work. And, when that happens, you go back to brainstorming, figure out how to improve the experiment, and try again. Because that's the awesome thing about science: Even failure teaches you something.
In the end, Mike and Emmaline were able to improve their experiment, and Mike turned the whole thing into a really sweet and funny video. Great work!
Maggie Koerth-Baker is the science editor at BoingBoing.net. She writes a monthly column for The New York Times Magazine and is the author of Before the Lights Go Out, a book about electricity, infrastructure, and the future of energy. You can find Maggie on Twitter and Facebook.