Editorial cartoon by Graeme MacKay, The Hamilton Spectator – Saturday, August 26, 2006
Leave it to the nerds at the International Astronomical Union to ruin a kid’s day.
For half of their young lives, the sixth-graders in the Young Scientists program at Barrington Elementary School in North Austin have been told that there are nine planets in the solar system. So when their teacher, Paige Baker, told them that union scientists on Thursday had decided to delete Pluto from that list, it was understandable that some students had difficultly handling the gravity of the decision.
“It’s been with us so long. Why would they do this?” asked Nikki Chupa, 11, who always used the mnemonic “My Very Educated Mother Just Served Us Nine Pizzas” to remember the order of the planets.
“Why do they have to go mess stuff up?” 11-year-old Angelique Price asked.
Baker told them she felt their pain.
“Imagine what it’s like for me, and I’ve been told this for years — double digits even,” she said. “But you’ve got remember, these are scientists. It’s not a popularity contest.” (Source: The Statesman)