“Pssst! Nancy!” George Fayne pushed a folded piece of paper into Nancy Drew’s hand as George walked past Nancy’s desk.
Nancy opened the note and read: “Boys are goony loonies.” She put her hand over her mouth and tried not to laugh out loud. But a small giggle escaped. Nancy looked up and saw Mrs. Reynolds, her third-grade teacher, staring right at her.
“Nancy and George, you’re supposed to be working on the written reports for your science fair projects,” Mrs. Reynolds said, “not passing notes to each other.”
“Sorry, Mrs. Reynolds,” Nancy said softly. She glanced at her best friend. George was connecting an orange Styrofoam ball to her project. It was a model of the solar system. It showed the sun and all its planets.
Nancy looked at the colorful science projects set up on tables along the walls of the classroom. The two third-grade classes at Carl Sandburg Elementary School would be having a mini science fair the next day. Nancy couldn’t wait.
“George, I had to speak to you twice last week about passing notes during class,” Mrs. Reynolds continued. “I don’t want you doing it again. Is that clear?”
“Place your report with your exhibit,” Mrs. Reynolds said, “then please return to your desk.”
George put her paper down next to her science project. Then she quickly walked back to her desk.
Nancy heard a soft chuckle. She looked over to see Brenda Carlton and Alison Wegman. They were watching George and giggling. Nancy thought Brenda wasn’t very nice. She liked to see other kids get in trouble.
The bell rang, signaling the end of school. Mrs. Reynolds stood up from her desk. “Anyone who needs to continue working on his or her science fair project may stay after class.”
Some of the students from the other third grade, Mrs. Apple’s class, wandered into the room. Students from both classes had been going back and forth for the last few days. They had been looking at the projects as kids were setting them up.
Bess Marvin, George’s cousin and Nancy’s other best friend, leaned over. She sat across the aisle from Nancy. “We need one more frozen bubble,” Bess said. “It should be a really big one.”
Nancy and Bess were doing their science fair project together. It showed how to make different soap bubble patterns and how to create frozen soap bubbles in cold weather.
“Okay, Bess, you make one outside, and I’ll fix up our display,” Nancy said.
She walked over to their project. It was set up on a table by the window. At the next table, Kyle Leddington and Andrew Leoni were working on their magnet project. On the other side, Brenda and Alison had set up their fossil bone display.
Nancy heard Jason Hutchings suddenly call out, “Hey, David, hands off!”
She looked over to where Jason had his invisible ink display. His friend David Berger, who was in Mrs. Apple’s class, was playing with the ink on scraps of paper.
“Come on, let me write something with the ink. It’s cool,” David said as Jason pulled a bottle away from him.
“Go work on your bug project,” Jason said.
David and another boy from his class had made a display about cockroaches of the world. Nancy thought it was gross.
Nancy saw Bess come back into the classroom. Bess was walking slowly as she carried a delicate frozen ice bubble that she’d just made outside. She’d blown a large soap bubble and then let it freeze in the cold air. Beautiful ice crystals had formed all over it.
“Ooh, Bess! That’s the best one we’ve made so far!” Nancy said. “Quick, put it in the ice chest before it melts.”
“I love making these,” Bess said, carefully placing the frozen bubble in a small ice chest. The girls had put ice packs in the bottom to keep the frozen bubbles solid.
“Bess and Nancy, that’s a great frozen bubble,” Mrs. Reynolds said.
Nancy and Bess beamed with pride.
“Thanks, Mrs. Reynolds,” Nancy said.
Their teacher looked around the room. “As a matter of fact, everyone’s display is wonderful,” she said. “It will be hard to decide whose is the best.”
Mrs. Reynolds and Mrs. Apple were going to judge the science projects the following morning. They would pick a best project from each class. The winners would get first-place ribbons. At the end of the week, both classes were going on a field trip to Chicago. They would visit the Adler Planetarium.
“Okay, everyone should be finishing up,” Mrs. Reynolds called out as she walked to the door. “I’ll be in the other classroom for a few minutes if anyone needs me.”
“Oh, Nancy,” Bess said. “My mom pulled into the parking lot while I was outside. She says we have to hurry up because she has to go to the doctor after she drops you and George off.”
“Okay, we’d better tell George,” Nancy said, looking across the room. “She’s still working on her project.”
“Hey, George,” Nancy called. “Bess’s mom is outside. We have to leave.”
George nodded, shaking her dark curls. She was attaching the last foam planet to her model. “I’m almost done.”
“Hiya, bubble girls,” Jason said, walking over to Nancy and Bess’s display.
“Ha, ha,” Nancy replied.
Jason grinned. “Blowing soap bubbles isn’t really science, is it?”
Bess tossed back her long blond hair. “Huh! Your invisible ink isn’t science, either. And your ink is stinky.”
Jason chuckled. “It’s better than a baby bubble project.”
“Go drink your invisible ink,” Nancy said. She was arranging bottles of soap solution on the table.
“Yeah,” Bess added. “Then maybe you’ll disappear!” The girls giggled.
“Ooh! Inky, dinky, doo.” Jason danced around the display table. Suddenly, he grabbed a bottle of soap solution from the table.
“What if I blow some bubbles myself?” he said, running to the back of the room with the soap bottle.
“Hey, give that back!” Nancy ran after him. Bess was right behind her. Andrew, Kyle, and David also joined in the chase.
Jason stopped by a table near George’s display. “David, heads up.” Jason tossed David the bottle.
Bess tried to grab it but missed.
“Get it, George!” Nancy called.
George jumped up and tried to get the bottle from David. But he threw it to Peter DeSands.
“Come on, you guys.” Nancy reached for the bottle.
Peter tossed it to Jason.
“Give it back, Jason, you big creep!” Bess cried.
Jason threw it to Andrew, and he threw it back to David. The boys were laughing and hollering.
“Soapy-poo, soapy-poo,” David called out, holding the bottle above Bess. She grabbed his arm.
David squirmed away and threw the bottle back to Peter. But Peter missed catching it. The bottle hit George’s project, knocking it to the floor.
The planet Jupiter from George’s model cracked in half!