We thought it would be a good idea to bring the kids through my lab, take a bit of mystery out of the whole research process and everything. Naturally I had to spend last week stealing, err, borrowing cool toys from everywhere I could find so that there would be no shortage of things with blinking lights, buttons, dials, and shiny chrome. I knew that the disappearing glassware would be a hit (and wow did it ever confuse the hell out of the volunteers, never mind the kids!), and the robot, but I wasn't sure about the musical lab equipment (my new pride and joy, haha).
Turns out that the musical lab equipment stole the show! It is a very large, somewhat contraptiony looking... contraption that looks like it should be doing something veryimportant, not playing "Baa baa black sheep". One girl saw it and said she wanted to be a mechanical engineer! Hah! Yes!
The sad side of my nerdy life is that lots of things I think are really exciting (analog pinball machines, shiny things, function generators) aren't necessarily interesting to anyone else. It made my day that the girls thought musical lab equipment was awesome. Sometimes I just need a bit of reassurance that I have some sort of contact with reality.