GloucesterTimes.com, Gloucester, MA

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November 28, 2012

'Big fat science' at West Parish

Inventions connect for West Parish kids during event

Students at West Parish Elementary School Wednesday were treated to a laser show set to music, then immediately immersed themselves in examining and even trying on some of the world’s great inventions during the “Big Fat Science Show.”

The presentation allowed students to handle arrowheads and other simple tools from the Stone Age, compare and contrast the Roman and Greek styles of metal armor with medieval chain mail and modern bulletproof vests. Some students tried on the Roman-style armor, which included a breastplate, shield and helmet, weighing in at about 50 pounds.

Told the weight of metal covering her, second-grader Adrianna Snow exclaimed that she was “too young” for that. Pupils were also observing the size, shape, artistic touches and functions of the armor and weaponry.

Kaleidoscopes were on display, along with other examples of optical illusions. There was also a microscope available for use, and even an old-view camera son display.

Pupils got close to topographical maps of New England, bows and arrowheads, timekeeping and navigational devices such as compasses and sextants. They could also practice writing with quill pens and inks — with ink quickly mopped up from that table, and arms and faces smeared in green, magenta and black.

Finally, there was the Age of Machines table, exhibiting several types of motors, including a sterling and a hero’s engine.

The program will be visiting all the Gloucester elementary schools.

Allegra Boverman is the chief photographer and a staff writer for the Gloucester Daily Times. She can be reached at 978-283-7000 x3448 and at aboverman@gloucestertimes.com.

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