Friday, August 24, 2018

Windham Public Library children’s events end summer with a pop and a splash by Matt Pascarella

Annabelle Riley & Elliott Schulz 
The Windham Public Library hosted two events earlier this week to end their summer reading program on an ultra-fun note. On Monday, August 20th there was a bubble gum blowing contest and on Tuesday, August 21st, science exploration was the theme, so children could explore the concept of energy and pressure by bursting open a watermelon.

In the bubble blowing contest, everyone made their own V-shaped measuring tool, called a divider, out of construction paper and a fastener. They chewed a piece – or perhaps two pieces - of gum, then tried to blow the biggest bubble they could.

They used the divider to measure their bubbles, which ranged in shape and size from 1 inch to 6 inches. No winner was crowned, though from what I could see, everyone was blowing some pretty good-sized bubbles.

Organizer Diana Currier, said they had done this event five years ago and it was a big hit, so they decided to do it again.

Children of ages joined in all the fun, chewing, blowing bubbles and measuring and laughing. A good time was had by all – even the parents.

On Tuesday, August 21 a science exploration event was held to teach children about energy by seeing how many elastics it would take to create enough pressure outside a watermelon to make it burst. big crowd had gathered, and no one in the crowd had ever seen this experiment done in person, so there was a lot of excitement in the air. Children put elastics, 10 at a time, over the middle of the watermelon.

“I’m scared!” “I’m excited!” was overheard.

After 100 elastics had been put on, no reaction from the watermelon. 200 elastics, no reaction. Once 300 elastics had been put on, the children were getting nervous. They would put their elastics on and back away as quickly as possible. There was a lot of speculation about what and when it would happen. Some children were taking extra precaution by wearing goggles or looking away as soon as their elastic was put on, to prevent any watermelon splash that might get in their eyes if it burst.

Gavin and Cole Williams
The elastics kept going. 350…370…380. At around 390 elastics, it was noticed that some had turned red. The watermelon had also started leaking a little. The watermelon was able to withstand 403 elastics total, but once the 404th elastic was placed…BAM! It happened so quickly; the top flew up in the air and watermelon was served.

Currier, who orchestrated this event as well, got the idea from a friend of hers who home schools and does a lot of activities similar to this one.

The final number of 404 elastics was a lot more than Currier thought it was going to be. “My job is to make sure the kids have fun [and this event was] excellent,” she remarked.

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