“Science Class”

I help a year seven science class

and today we did some practicals.

The one was a soldering iron;

just letting them explore

how metal turns to liquid

with the right amount of heat.


It’s quite a dangerous experiment

to let twelve-year-olds loose on,

but all they wanted to do

was burn down little blobs,

roll them across the board

and join them all together.


The result wasn’t very pretty –

just a mangled clump of silver,

but I wonder when I forgot

the childish joy of joining,

bringing bits together instead of

breaking them into bites.


They didn’t care that it wasn’t perfect,

only that it was one.

Now I remember that innovation

does not happen in isolation,

but by bringing together spare parts

left lying on the table.


It’s not about big thoughts

or really grand discoveries.

It’s about trusting the dangerous iron

to the child within us all

so she can see that solid metal

is just one state of matter.

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