Did you know that you can burn snack chips as kindling if you need to start a fire and can't find any twigs or brush? You can and I can tell you that Ruffles Sour Cream & Cheddar make the best choice, as they have the longest burning and most consistent flame.
You know, just in case you are on your way to a Super Bowl party and get trapped in a blizzard.
I know this because this was the experiment Quinn, my nine year old, chose for his science fair project this year.
Like many of you, we knew about the science fair project for a long time but put it off. On the eve of the deadline to submit a project idea, I heard him standing in the kitchen with his dad, poking around for inspiration for a project.
"What about burning nuts?" he said, while popping a peanut in his mouth.
Before he could finish the thought, I jumped up from the couch in the living room and announced, "You can use Doritos as fire kindling! You should totally burn chips and see which one is the best."
Quinn loved the idea and immediately starting jotting down materials and his proposed process. When it came time to fill out the project proposal, I ran the "stuck in a blizzard on the way to a Super Bowl party" storyline by him, suggesting that a hook would capture the reviewer's imagination, but to no avail.
"This is science, Mom. Not storytelling. This isn't what you do."
A box on the form asked if he wanted to enter his science project in the actual science fair or just do it for the class grade. Quinn didn't hesitate when he checked the box for just the class grade. When asked, he said he had absolutely no interest in entering the science fair, in part because this was his first science project.
Jump to a few weeks later. It's the day the science project is due. With glue still drying, I drop him off at school and wish him luck, knowing he'll ace it because he checked and double-checked the grading rubric and completed all requirements.
By the time I pulled into our driveway less than a mile from the elementary school, I had the following text from Quinn's teacher:
"Are you sure Quinn doesn't want to enter his project into the science fair? It is so cool! I asked him if he wanted to because I thought it was awesome and he said yeah. Is that okay with you?"