Kids, don’t try this at home – My (Disastrous) 10th Grade Science Experiment

Kids, don’t try this at home – My (Disastrous) 10th Grade Science Experiment

[Author’s note: the following is a painfully true, 100% accurate story and it’s the reason I knew at an early age that I would NEVER become a scientist.]

When I was in tenth grade, I had a science experiment to do and I was running very short on time. It was due in a couple days and I had only barely started on my experiment. I decided to do an experiment involving “rust” and the rusting process, and how some elements can accelerate the rusting process while others tend to inhibit or decelerate it.

Anyway, I had one final experiment to do — to test the rust-inhibiting or accelerating effect on metal of boiled linseed oil. I had never heard of linseed oil (I was just reading from a book of high school science projects and one of them was about rust). So I made sure to precisely follow the experiment’s procedures as set forth in the book. One of the elements it suggested using to test the rusting process was “boiled linseed oil.”  So I went to whatever store sells linseed oil and came home and began the experiment at about 4:30pm. I should note at this point that my father, for reasons still unknown to me, chose this day of all days to come home at 5pm rather than his usual 6:30pm. The relevance of this point will become clear in a couple paragraphs, so be patient.

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