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As a math-loving parent of a math-loving tween girl, I'm worried that women are significantly underrepresented in science and engineering fields. A new benefit album of kids music called Science Fair gathers musicians together to take on that disparity both by raising awareness and firing up the imagination.
There are a handful of songs here reminiscent of the complex, explanatory music of Schoolhouse Rock, like Lori Henriques' take on Heisenberg's Uncertainty Principle. But most songs here touch on scientific phenomena lightly, and focus more on the process of asking questions and finding inspiration. So instead of singing about the million years it took to create a lump of coal, Laura Veirs marvels at how it keeps her warm on a winter's night on "Little Black Rock."
The album features a variety of genres, as well as voices old and young. On "Rocket Science," 10-year-old MC Fireworks shows imaginative sparks that are also part of the scientific process.
Good intentions are a poor substitute for good music, but Science Fair doesn't ignore the music in service of its cause. Sometimes what kids really need to get them wondering how rainbows are created is a big, sparkling song they can groove to.