What Life was Like Before Science Alive, A Cautionary Tale


While looking at some of the fliers for the upcoming Science Alive programing coming to the library on February 2nd I started to think about the role science played in my own childhood. While Science Alive has been around for 21 years, I was a teenager at the time of the first event so I didn’t have the opportunity to attend such a fun and educational event as a child. I didn’t have access to experts in a variety of scientific fields such physics, chemistry, and meteorology unlike the lucky kids, like my daughter, who has attended Science Alive since she was little. Here are a few of my childhood memories involving science that could have gone better if I would have had been able to go to Science Alive:



Scott Bordley-Scott Bordley was the Steve Irwin of Heatherfield Drive. He was the animal wrangler of the neighborhood and could catch anything that jumped, hopped, slithered, or swam. His specialty was toads but he liked all animals. His dog Candy was so well trained they she never put one single paw out of the Bordley’s yard and that was way before invisible fencing was invented.  It was Scott who gave me a baby turtle which I named Sandy (after Olivia Newton-John’s character in the movie Grease). While Scott was good at catching animals he was less interested in animal preservation and didn’t tell me what I what to feed it or how I was supposed to keep it alive. If only I had Science Alive back then to help me learn about turtle care!




Encyclopedia Brittanica-My parents were so excited when I was born and thought I was super smart even as a baby, so, when I was about one, they bought me a set of encyclopedias. Unfortunately, by the time I was old enough to do a report for school, the encyclopedia set was out of date. I distinctly remember doing a report on the Solar System in the fifth grade and when I told the class that Jupiter had something like 12 moons, some smarty pants boy raised his hand in the middle of my presentation, in front of he whole class, and corrected me saying that it had a bunch more than I reported. I was totally embarrassed (although I somewhat redeemed myself somewhat with my very cool model of  the solar system consisting of styrofoam ball planets hanging with dental floss from the inside of a cardboard box painted black and covered in silver star stickers). If only I had Science Alive Back then to help me learn about the planets and their moons!

Invention Contest-Did you know I invented an early form of microchipping along with what is now known as GPS? It’s true. Back in the eighth grade my science teacher had us write a paper describing a product we would like to invent. The winning paper from our class would was then be sent off to some type of national competition. I was totally psyched about the contest and worked hard on my report. My idea (and remember this was around 1986) was a dog collar that had a type of electronic signal that would be transmitted to your computer so you could track where your dog was in your neighborhood if he happened to get lost. The signal would appear on a map of your neighborhood that would display on your home computer. I lost the contest and was furious. I knew this idea was a gold mine and didn’t understand why my teacher did not appreciate my genius. If only I had Science Alive back then I would have been been able to connect with a club or group to help me explore my interest in technology!

Whatever your interest may be, Science Alive has something for you! Don’t miss this wonderful opportunity to explore your interest in science or learn about something new.  Science Alive is also not just for kids-it is fun for all ages, so bring the entire family!

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