Parenthood is an atavistic adventure, especially for geeks who rediscover their child-like wonder and awe… and find that they can relate better to kids than many adults. The little people really appreciate arrested development in adults. =)
Another cause for celebration is the rediscovery of toys, but as an adult with a bigger allowance. Chris Anderson, editor in chief of Wired, put it well in one of his GeekDad posts: “Get Lego Mindstorms NXT. Permission to build and program cool toy robots is not the only reason to have children, but it's up there.”
Here are my contributions so far:
• Beginner Ants with the NASA gel ant farm
• Beginner’s Video Rocketry to capture video feeds from a soaring rocket
• Peering into the Black Box: Household appliances become less mysterious when you take them apart
• Cheap Laser Art: amazing emergent images with just a laser pointer and a camera
• Slot Cars Revisited: modern cars with modern materials
• Rocket Science Redux : Trying to build the smallest possible rocket is a great way for children to learn rocket science
• Easter Egg Deployment by Rocket with a hundred little parachutes
• Celebrate the Child-Like Mind, a topical repost from the J-Curve
From what I can see, the best scientists and engineers nurture a child-like mind. They are playful, open minded and unrestrained by the inner voice of reason, collective cynicism, or fear of failure.
Children remind us of how to be creative, and they foster an existential appreciation of the present. Our perception of the passage of time clocks with salient events. The sheer activity level of children and their rapid transformation accelerates the metronome of life.