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BOTD 6/12/16 "Fair Science Fair?" A DMK Production

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David M. Katz


Marshall
FAIR SCIENCE FAIR?
A DMK Production

You have two sons:

Rob is now fifteen and enjoys school and is a studious and academic type.  Rob has always enjoyed school and typically goes above and beyond in his academics.

Rick is now twelve and is not a huge fan of school.  Rick is smart enough but he simply doesn't enjoy academic things and is satisfied with the minimal acceptable level.  Rick would rather do other things besides anything related to school.

Both of your sons are subject to spanking.

Enter the sixth grade science fair.  It has been a battle to try to get Rick committed to a project and to do the work and research needed.  Participation in the science fair is a full third of his grade for this term.  With no project Rick will fail the term.  Rob volunteers to "help" Rick with the project and the turmoil calms down and Rick actually seems to get in the groove and seems to be enjoying the research and the project with Rob's help.

What you do not know and what does not become evident to the school is that Rob allowed his younger brother to simply re-hash a project he did when he was in sixth grade.  Rick even used some of the exact same research and papers that Rob still had laying around.  (Rob keeps all of his major school accomplishments.)  Essentially Rick turned in his brother's project as his own ad no one was the wiser except for the boys.

The problem:  Rick won first place.  When Rob did the same project he only got an honorable mention.  Rick's project also now qualifies him to move on to the state middle school science fair.  Things come to light at home that evening when the boys get into a very loud verbal argument over the whole thing.  Rob and Rick then "come clean" to you.

ROB - 15
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RICK - 12 (At the sceince fair)
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How do you deal with all of this?


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The Cappadocian


Greenhorn
I don't really see a need for punishment here. It's no great moral failing to worm your way out of schoolwork that you truly have zero interest in, although I wish he'd found a less clumsy solution. The only real problem I see is that they seem mad at each other over Rob's hurt pride, but that will resolve itself in time, and I don't see how spanking either or both of them would help the situation.

Y Lee Coyote


Cowboy
Rob is learning an important lesson -- life is unfair.  It maybe that the judges are inconsistent or the competition three years earlier was greater.  It also possible, that Rob's redo has improved (after all, he is three years older).  One wonders about the judges and teachers not recognizing a rehash.

The problem that I see is the Rob did not help Rick do some project but did it for him.  That, plain and simple, is cheating.

The problem is how to have Rick do a project NOW to be honest and not fail the course.

Y.

http://www.asstr.org/~YLeeCoyote/

Jack


Admin
I'm not going to turn the boys in, because I should have been more involved.

I am going to have a talk with both boys, and let them convince me how this isn't plagiarism and cheating, or how we should deal with it if it is.

As for Rob, I agree with Y Lee - different results probably means different levels of competition, or the judges simply used different standards.

I think this is going to be a learning experience for ALL of us, and Rick is going to start toeing the line a bit more strictly.


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AFinch


Sherrif
I agree with the others.

Iconoclast


Trailboss
First I will simply have Rick enter the advanced fair under both their names. Furthermore I will check the winning entries in Rob's year to see if they were really better.

Iconoclast

ivor


Marshall
Does "moving on to the state middle school science fair" simply mean that the same project goes forward or does it require a new one?

If the latter perhaps the answer would be for the pair to really work together and come up with something new. If the former then perhaps whatever he created can be destroyed just before it is due to appear?

It would be hard to turn my own son in, but this wasn't just cheating but CHEATING.

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Padraig


Trailboss
ivor wrote:, but this wasn't just cheating but CHEATING.

As long as the sources weren't given in advance I don't see the academical cheating, if Rick did assemble at least a few things himself. There is no reason he couldn't use his brother's work as resource for his own. Nor is the re-use of a previous project wrong in scientific sense. Almost every scientific publication is based on the work of others (mentioned or not).

Nevertheless I will make it clear that is was cheating, but done by Rick to himself.

MemoryMan


Sherrif
I'm not a happy man - but - 'tis an ill wind that blows no good.

What is done is done and will remain within the family, but Rick's reward can also be his punishment.

I'm going to insist that he carries the project on. (or selects a new one if required)  He'll have to work at it since as he will be representing his school the teachers will be taking a close interest in his progress.  He's lazy but bright enough to pull it off  and now he's been labelled a winner his pride will want to prevent him from making a pigs ear of the next stage.

I'm not happy with Rob either.  I was pleased by the way he appeared to have roused Rick out of his lethargy and although Rick appears to have put a modicum of added value into the project I am not at all pleased by the way he fed his brother everything on a plate even to the extent of allowing him to plagiarise his final presentation.

Once the new project gets under way Rob will be required to join me in supporting Rick, guiding his research and discussing his conclusions; but everything that gets into his final presentation will be his own work.

Hopefully the three of us working together on a project will have a positive impact on family dynamics, but if not - there will no overt threats but both boys are fully aware that should they get into a strop that I have a strap.

http://www.malespank.net/listAuthor.php?author=MemoryMan

David M. Katz


Marshall
I really like Memory Man's analysis.


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Kat


Editor Extraordinaire
David M. Katz wrote:I really like Memory Man's analysis.

Me too

Kat

Y Lee Coyote


Cowboy
I like Iconoclast's suggestion but fear that it is not possible.  School science fair are normally sorted by grade and certainly by school type.

Y.

http://www.asstr.org/~YLeeCoyote/

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