Biology Science Projects

When I dropped my daughter off at the day-care center Monday, my baby sitter was too busy to come to the door. She was helping her daughter assemble a Biology Project Ideas out of tin cans and string. They were in a hurry because it was five minutes until school started.

I knew what was going on. I had just driven my second-grade son to school so his display of bird photographs wouldn't get wet in the rain.

''Are we putting finishing touches on our Biology Project Ideas?'' I asked. ''Yes,'' she said, looking distracted. She was wrapping the cans in shelf paper, which I thought added a nice, designer touch.

''Did your son do a science project?'' she asked. ''You might say our entire family did a science project,'' I said. ''We devoted this weekend to taking pictures of birds on the deck.''

''Jody's folks were up all night on her project, and it still doesn't work.''

''Work? Are you telling me those poor souls embarked on a science project that was supposed to do something?''

I was glad to learn that I wasn't the only one who spent the weekend scrambling to put together a science project. Parents throughout my neighborhood were hard at work, too, gluing and pasting and coloring exhibits.

The school's brochure touted a science project as a way to spend quality time with your child, but I think the school had an ulterior motive. After spending time on an intellectual pursuit with your child, you come away with a greater appreciation for teachers.

My son didn't do a science project last year, because I figured he ought to think of an idea for one. After all, it's supposed to be his science project. But he never came up with anything that could be neatly packaged for display in the school cafeteria.

''What language do babies speak?'' sounded promising, but I wasn't sure how to gather the raw material other than crawling after a few babies with a tape recorder. My son isn't patient with babies.

''How do you measure the speed of light?'' was his other suggestion, but beyond my abilities with cardboard and glue. He drove one of his little friends crazy trying to hit the wall before the light from the table lamp did, but I didn't think that was a good way to illustrate the concept.