Why should parents allow their kids to bang on pots and pans and jump into puddles? Because Science.
That’s according to astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson during an appearance at the College of the Holy Cross in Worcester, Mass. When a pigtailed young girl from the audience asked the brilliant scientist, “How can first graders help the earth?” Dr. Tyson responded in a way that’s sure to inspire in her a lifetime of love for science (even if mom or dad might initially disapprove).
Tyson: “When I was in first grade, I was curious about a lot of things. So here’s what I want you to do. When you go home, and you start poking around the kitchen. Have you ever opened the cabinets and pulled out the pots and pans and started banging on them?…Did your parents stop you? Tell them to not stop you.”
“Because you’re just being a kid and you like to explore things. And your parents don’t like it because it gets the pots and pans dirty and because it’s noisy. But for you it’s fun and you’re actually doing experiments: What does the wooden spoon sound like on the aluminum pot or the metal ladle sound like on the steel pot? And they all make different sounds, and it’s fun, right?”
“Okay, another thing — if it’s raining out, and there’s a big puddle — what do you want to do with that puddle?
Girl: Jump in it.
Tyson: You wanna jump in it, and so do your parents let you jump in it?
Girl: Ya — no.
Dr. Tyson goes on to explain that jumping in puddles is a science experiment because you’re creating a splash crater.
So kids, the next time you get in trouble for making a lot of noise or a big mess, just tell your parents that Neil deGrasse Tyson made you do it.
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