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Old 05-17-2018, 12:54 PM   #1 (permalink)
California98Civic
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Ecomodder parenting

So, what are your stories, parents who also ecomod?

My daughter has an early interest in engineering--though she wavers sometimes. She want to make money (little mercenary!). Anyway, at 15 and a sophomore in HS she is developing a command of math and chemistry that is enviable from the perspective of a guy like me who never did find the right teachers in those areas of study. I always wanted to know the relevance and always got lame answers. My daughter wants to do the puzzles and master them and "win" (very competitive kid!).

She got a perfect score on a chem test yesterday and it precipitated a conversation between us like fe we have had. She denigrated her own knowledge, saying how she had managed to muddle through. Or that she was just lucky. I asked her to explain an example problem. Her mastery of variables in calculating molar mass and how much energy it would take to bring a specific amount of a given liquid to boiling point were impressive. She had data and processes memorized and readily showed me on a scrap of paper.

I had two realizations to share with her. First, the the formula was essentially algebra applied in a specific context.

Second, I showed her the below animation of a combustion chamber like the one she just saw me dismantle last week in our driveway. We watched 4:12-4:42 repeatedly (on 25% slowmo). I explained the process depicted, relating it to the calculations she is learning as best I could. We discussed how one might calculate the heat energy, the "atmospheres" involved, the boiling point of the coolant, and the proper size and function of elements in the system. We didn't have any specific answers, of course, (too little data and experience) but we got to talk about how math and chem are integrated parts of engineering, so it felt pretty awesome.

Most of what I was sharing I had learned through ecomodding. Anyway, it was just such a cool conversation.

Plus, she recently broke off a dating thing with a boy in her chem class and got her focus back. She had been talking about how brilliant HE was and trying to be pretty enough. That over-emphasis on the boys is a common path away from math/science success for girls. Now she broke it off and is just focused on developing her skills.

Effin' awesome.

Have you had experiences like that with young people (not necessarily one's own child)?


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See my car's mod & maintenance thread and my electric bicycle's thread for ongoing projects. I will rebuild Black and Green over decades as parts die, until it becomes a different car of roughly the same shape and color. My minimum fuel economy goal is 55 mpg while averaging posted speed limits. I generally top 60 mpg. See also my Honda manual transmission specs thread.

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