Immediately, a memory of a lesson on the ‘three states of matter’ arose. It was a science topic for the (NZ Intermediate School) Year 7 class. As we’d done, by the end of the school year (approaching Christmas and the eight week summer break), every other topic in science, I had left it to the end-of-year, for no particular reason.
We discussed the solid state, the liquid, and the gaseous. I demonstrated the difference between water as a gas and a vapour, not wanting them to think steam is the gaseous state.
I held the last science lesson over until the afternoon of the very last dismissal, letting them know they had to pass a practical test in that lesson.
At five minutes to three, I sent a runner to the school office for Mrs. X’s science test kit. He returned with a chilly bin (‘Eskie’, in Aussie), in which were thirty-two ice-blocks.
The practical test was to turn them from their frozen state to a liquid as rapidly as they could. They would pass the test and be dismissed for the holidays as soon as they’d completed the test.
Excited cries of delight as they saw the brightly coloured packages of lemonade flavored ice locks, ripping off wrapper, slurping and sucking. They all passed the test and were dismissed one by one, although one early finisher stayed back until the others had all passed through the door.
He blew me away (and made me laugh uproariously) when he commented…
“I know how we turn that liquid into gas, Miss.”
I waited for the expected punchline…his cheeky grin showed something was coming.
“We’ll fart it out as gas!” he called as he turned and ran from the room.
~ ~ ~
Only in the last moment of the school year could he get away with that…but I would’ve laughed at any stage in the year – in the staffroom!