Scituate: Scituate Science Spectacular Held at High School

The Scituate STEAM collaborative hosted its Science Spectacular at the High School, with exhibits all throughout the school.

Roughly 1,500 people attended the event, which included students and professionals in the community.

“We tried to answer the modern day requirement for a science fair. We’re trying to move away from a competition-based model, to one that’s inclusive all year round to all of our students, K through 12,” said Cheryl Riedel, the co-chair of the event. “We have students mentoring other students…We’re trying to increase awareness and increase the equity to opportunity for all of our students.”

Those students included Will Horne, who designed a working doorbell, a motion-sensor alarm, and a light panel.

It’s an impressive feat for anyone, even more so considering Horne is an eight-year-old at the Cushing Elementary School.

“We have a lot of creativity, and we wanted to be a part of this,” said Horne.

Horne presented with his friend Meryck James, a seven-year-old at Cushing. James designed a catapult and an intricate battery-controlled crawler.

“My favorite part was building it,” said James with a smile.

“What I really like about it is that it actually works.”

About 15 steps away, Scituate High senior Meg Kelly made a display of the entire periodic table of elements — out of cupcakes.

“I think Chemistry is fun, and I like sharing it,” said Kelly. “Cupcakes are fun, so it makes Chemistry a little bit more approachable.”

She said the display of 118 cupcakes took 10 hours to make. Not a big deal, because it’s combining two of her favorite things to teach others. Her favorite part of the Spectacular was the students.

“Just seeing so many kids interested in Science,” said Kelly, who will study Chemical Engineering at Georgia Tech. “Especially all the young girls. It’s just really awesome to get everyone excited about what I think is the best subject in school.”

With an expansive variety of exhibits, it was like the Boston Museum of Science, but spread all throughout the high school.

The Stellwagen Bank exhibit in the little gym was a big draw, with Student Ambassadors from the Gates Middle School giving demonstrations about the national marine sanctuary 11 miles off the Scituate coast between Cape Cod and Cape Ann.

“The big perk about Stellwagen, is that it is the home to many marine organisms,” said eighth-grader Caroline Tolton. “Including things as small as sea sponges and bacteria, all the way up to many different species of whales that travel to the sanctuary throughout the year.”

A 40-foot blow up whale named “Salt,” was the centerpiece of the exhibit.

Anne-Marie Runfola from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration says Salt, who’s about 40 years old and 40 feet in length, travels from the Caribbean to Stellwagen each year.

“Some whales have teeth, they grab their food and swallow it whole,” said Nicholas Corcione, a seventh-grader at Gates. “Other whales have baleen, they sift through and grab the all the krill and the food that they need to eat.”

Corcione said whales also use their heads to stir up fish from the sea bottom to eat.

Many people flocked to the race track that was set in the middle of the gym.

A group of presenters had a spring-loaded racer, and switched out springs to get the best launch for their four-wheeled racer.

“A bigger and thicker spring…it goes the farther and the wall knocks down,” said Thomas Feeney, a nine-year-old at the Cushing School.

“I like doing all of this, testing springs, and helping all the people with it,” said 10-year-old Jack Dalicandro.

Erik Riedel and Ahmed Ewing from Dell EMC were showing off a de-constructed server as one of the many community presenters.

“You get to see such a broad array of projects,” said Ahmed Ewing, a senior software engineer. “There’s something that can pique the interest of everyone.”

“I really think this is great for the community,” said Riedel, a senior director of engineering. “We get a lot of community members come in and say ‘I had no idea this was going on in Scituate.’ Not only does it help the students, it helps the community members.”

About Lenny Rowe

Lenny Rowe is one of the newest additions to the WATD News team. Lenny has won two Edward R. Murrow awards for breaking news coverage, and a Mass. Broadcasters Award in the sports feature category. He grew up in Pembroke and was an intern at WATD in 2012. A 2016 graduate from Suffolk University, Lenny now lives in Rockland. Outside of WATD, Lenny covers high school sports for The Boston Globe. Lenny can be reached at Lenny.Rowe30@Gmail.com.