Thermodynamics, Evaporation & Kid Computer Science

Kids intuitively grasp a lot of advanced concepts. They don’t understand the science behind them, naturally, but they get the idea.

Case in point: When I was four or five years old, I remember my dad getting me out of the tub to dry me off.

He started drying my hair first, and I protested, “no no, dry my body off first!” Dad replied, “but your hair will just drip down, honey – you’ll get all wet again.” I insisted, because I was cold, and I knew that the little singular trickles from my hair wouldn’t make me as cold as my whole wet body did. At that point in time, I had no idea what “evaporation” was (at least, I assume I didn’t;) I just understood the idea.

We periodically have homeschooler-oriented days here at the library, and today is just such a day. One of the toddler game computers was having mouse problems. A tiny girl, barely even verbal, was on the one having problems. As I was approaching, she was trying to “fix” it herself – she had unplugged the giant, kid-sized trackball from the malfunctioning computer, and plugged it into the (working) computer next to her. I think that shows a pretty good understanding of stuff, albeit not applied correctly. 😉

A terrible photo of the offending trackball

She then experimentally moved the trackball, saw it wasn’t working, and looked up at me with these big, giant, blue eyes.

“Mouse?” she asked.

I am beginning to understand why parents have a difficult time saying “no” to their kids.

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