Wareham Middle School puts science to the test

By Matthew Bernat | Mar 02, 2017
Photo by: Matthew Bernat Olivia Nascimento, right, and Abigail Wright studied which type of vinegar would react the most with baking soda. They found that balsamic released the most gas into balloons they attached to soda bottles.

Eighth grader Carlisle Beach’s award-winning middle school science project is a real (video) game changer.

“He conducted his own research, used sound scientific practices and found that – yes – video games are bad for you,” said Principal Dr. Peter Steedman.

The line drew some good-natured grumbles from a crowd of students in the middle school’s auditorium Thursday night. There, they gathered for a brief awards ceremony that recognized students who participated in the Science and Technology Fair held earlier in the day.

Beach took home the Principal’s Award for his project, “Effects of Video Games on the Body.”

“I’m an avid video game player, and I wanted to see how my body reacted while playing and in some instances, particularly with violent games, there were negative changes,” said Beach.

His findings discovered spikes in blood pressure after playing some games.

Beach was one of 230 students middle school students who developed 125 projects for the fair held in the gymnasium throughout the day, said the event’s co-organizer, Jessica Scott.

Scott, along with her mother Kimberlee, who are both teachers at the middle school, launched the fair four years ago. Planning starts in late September and participation is mandatory only for students in the Science, Technology, Engineering and the Arts Academy, known as S.T.E.A.M.

Inside the gymnasium, the experiments and results were detailed on cardboard display boards. Judges included volunteers from the business community, School Committee members and some administrators.

One of the more popular booths with students was developed by Chloe Hogan and Abby Wiksten. The pair examined the effects of organic cosmetics on the skin for their project “Makeup on Fleek.”

Students crowded the booth for free applications with the different brands of organic makeup. Chloe and Abby took home a special award for “Most Inventive Project.”

Other winners include Ethan Cavacas and Brendan Cavacas who took home first place for a team for their project “Magnet Trains Transportation of the Future” and Emma Arcaro who won first place for an individual for her project “Light It Up.”

Winners will go on to compete in a regional science fair scheduled for April 22 at Regis College.

Hailey Wilcox explains her and Makenna Vary’s science project to one of the judges, Peter Donnelly. (Photo by: Matthew Bernat)
Chloe Hogan applies makeup to Evelyn Chase. Hogan and her science partner Abby Wiksten studied the effects of organic makeup for their project. (Photo by: Matthew Bernat)
Ryker King allowed Chloe Hogan to apply makeup on his face, all in the name of science. (Photo by: Matthew Bernat)
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