When you have walking, talking Teddy bears with homemade computer chips showing up to a 2nd grade science fair, you know parental involvement has gone too far. Welcome to the seedy world of parent-sanctioned cheating.
Speaking with the Chicago Tribune, one parent sheds light on the situation:
Her son wanted to build a hockey game, so Rosenstock helped him affix magnets to the bottoms of figurines and rig a light that illuminated when the puck hit the goal.
They proudly took it to school only to find an even more impressive "parent project" displayed alongside theirs.
"They literally had a walking, talking teddy bear. They had made a circuit chip. A circuit chip! You're talking about 2nd graders," Rosenstock recalled with a laugh.
A science teacher named Bill Gillespie recalled giving high marks to a student that built a device that distilled crude oil into gasoline. It probably used $30,000 worth of parts, but it was only after the science fair that they discovered her father was a prominent engineer. Who would have thought?
Some teachers feel that parental involvement in student projects and homework can be a positive bonding and learning experience—but on the other hand it can lower a child's self-esteem, create an environment of unhealthy competition, and spark a steroids-esque witch hunt among teachers and judges in schools. Obviously, parents need to know where to draw the line—but I only say that because I'm bitter about not having engineers in my family with a moral flexibility about cheating. Think of all the science fairs I could have won! [Chicago Tribune via Fark]