Regeneron Day of Giving introduces students to the fun of science

Posted by Alicia Smith on 10/25/2023

For a few minutes Grady Elementary School was under siege by some medieval weapons: catapults. Fortunately, no one was hurt and there was no damage to the building. Rather, it was all in good fun and more than a few laughs were had. Boys playing with catapaults


Students made miniature catapults and shot rolled up aluminum balls and globs of clay at a target on the gym wall. The Catapult Challenge was just one of several activities’ students engaged in during the Regeneron Day of Giving held on Oct. 20.


The annual event includes a visit from volunteers from the Tarrytown-based pharmaceutical company Regeneron who spend time with students engaging them in scientific activities. This year the Westchester Children’s Museum provided the activities and materials while the volunteers helped students.


“We love it,” fifth grader Max Kelly said about science. “You get to do some amazing stuff with it.”


Max and his classmate Sage Woolery worked together on the Radio Science activity. They attempted to silence radio waves by using different materials, like fake fur, gloves and more, to muffle the sound.


“We had a theme of historical technology and simple machines,” said Alyssa Martin, manager of education and programming at the children’s museum describing the type of activities that were available to students on this day.


The activities related to engineering or developmental technology, Ms. Martin said, and the goal was for students to try them all or spend their time engaging in one they particularly enjoyed.


“It’s wonderful to see how inquisitive the kids are,” said Regeneron volunteer Ann Marie DeMatteo. “They can pick anything from building, art, solar and more. The kids are participating in everything, which is lovely.”


Boy works with solar powered carFifth grader Chloe Bazil donned a mask to cover her eyes while her friend Kiara Mora walked her through a maze, giving her directions, such as “take two steps forward, now turn left.” The activity was part of the Program-a-Path, which taught students how to program a computer.


“It felt like I was asleep,” Chloe said of being giving the directions without being able to see where she was or where she was going. “She gave good directions.”


Fourth grader Tristan Stewart stayed at the Cardboard Automata station where he built a structure out of cardboard.


“I like building stuff,” Tristan said. “This is fun because I don’t normally get to do this stuff at school.”


Fourth graders Naomi Laing and Zenia Sharrack had big smiles on their faces.


Naomi said she enjoyed operating the solar cars, which allowed students to move cars across the floor with a light.


Zenia liked the maze.


“It was challenging and fun,” she said. “It was something that was interesting. I like how science is interesting, there is always something fun.”


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