Donkeys in the Dining Room!

We have a scientist here who believes that we are all scientists and that we live and breathe the subject every day.


No he’s not walking round in a grubby lab coat with hair sticking up and small glasses on the end of his nose muttering all the time. He is a mother of three.


What’s more she sets her children scientific challenges and is passing on her enthusiasm to primary school teachers as college coordinator of the Schools Science Project.


Vic Fiebelkorn’s children live a “sciencey” life in rural Suffolk. Her two daughters and son have been hunting fossils since they could walk and delivering lambs before they started school. They experiment with everything from serious biology (learning to dress game and name the organs before they could read); applied physics (what happens when you apply a stone to the dining room window at speed); kitchen chemistry (using bicarbonate of soda in place of flour to make a bigger cake) and behavioural psychology (training their donkeys to come into the house).


The donkey experiment was one she set them last summer, could they train Sarah to come into the house? Yes they could – donkeys are clean and use a certain area outside for their business anyway. Sarah is now joined by Olive and they can also eat from the dining room table. A successful experiment!


Vic says her children are not unusual, ALL children love to find things out by hands-on experience: they don’t want to watch Mummy deliver a lamb; they want to get their hands dirty! They don’t want to watch a teacher doing science in school, they want to do it themselves.


She believes we are all scientists, it’s the one subject we do every day, but, as a society, we don’t realise it. Science is everywhere and we need to follow our children’s lead and get out there and try it!