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Follow up
The Barbie experiment was done in the 2000 - 2001 school year. For the years 01/02 and 02/03 the school decided to not have a science fair. We believe this is the first time the school has ever not had the science fair since the fairs were started years and years ago. The school did have it again in 03/04 after first asking my daughter what experiment she would do if they had the science fair again. (And you thought only Republicans would politicize science - Boulder is about as left wing as you get.)

The Barbie Science Fair Experiment
Our 3rd grade daughter for science fair this year decided to determine if skin color was used by people to judge beauty. Her project was titled "Does Skin Color Make a Difference?"
She put her exhibit up with all of the other exhibits. Less than an hour later the school removed the exhibit and told us to come get it. They were unwilling to allow it to be displayed.
We would like to stress that we do not think the results of this experiment show the children at the school to be racist - just that they prefer what is familiar to them. We would also like to stress that we do not think the faculty and staff of the school are racist - just misguided.

For an absolutely wonderful discussion of this experiment, and what it means, please take a look at

The Experiment
This page lists the actual contents of the experiment - word for word.

Our Comments
This page lists several letters we have written over the course of this issue. It also lists several answers to questions we have received a lot. It also lists answers to a lot of the questions we are commonly asked.

News Editorials
This page lists links to columns and editorials written by the local newspapers.

News Articles
This page lists news reports written by the local newspapers.

Boulder Valley School District
This occured in a public elementary school in the Boulder Valley School District (BVSD). The school is located in the City of Boulder. If you would like to contact the school district, you can do so at
The school's decision was reviewed and approved by Elementary Education Assistant Superintendent Veronica Benavidez. Her decision was reviewed and approved by Superintendent George Garcia. The School Board discussed the issue with some board members supporting the school but took no official action.

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All contents copyright © 2001 by David & Shirley Thielen All Rights Reserved.