Nearly 400 Cambridge eighth-graders visited Harvard’s campus last week for the eighth annual Science and Engineering Showcase. The event highlights Cambridge students’ year-end science projects, and allows them to present their findings to classmates, teachers, parents, and even Harvard students and professors. One goal is to build interest in STEM education at an early age by demonstrating how science can — and does — impact every facet of their lives.
Cambridge Superintendent of Schools Kenneth Salim, Ed.D. ‘11, said he was amazed at the breadth and depth of knowledge on display. Salim said he was impressed by how well the students presented their projects and findings to their peers and to adults. “These are some of the most important skills you can have: to communicate your ideas, to share your perspective, to be able to defend an argument, and share evidence. All the things that you’re doing — not just with your science projects and in history, math, English language arts, and other specialist classes — those are all skills that all come together when being able to share and defend your work,” Salim said.
Student’s explored a range of topics, including how to make a solar oven, how hot air balloons work, and even how hearts pump. Emmie Knippen and Jessica Chook, both from the Cambridge Street Upper School, choose to examine why depression can occur in some people, and not in others.