Brianna Capel stood beside her fourth grade teacher, Carolyn Gangi, watching “Professor Will” pull cords attached to cups and buckets to make noises.
Each cord, attached to different-sized plastic cups, a white bucket and a metal garbage can, made the sounds of a chicken, tiger and dinosaur, along with the “Happy Birthday” tune.
It was all part of Mad Science, an enrichment franchise delivering hands-on science experiments to students who came to Stanley D. Saltzman East Memorial Elementary School in East Farmingdale on Friday.
“Listening isn’t about using your ears, it’s about using your imagination,” said Will Hill, 28, a representative from Mad Science, which caters to grades K-5.
Each cup amplifies a sound, and the handmade grooves on each string create the unique tunes.
“They learn the concepts in the classroom, and this makes it all come alive for them,” said Gangi, 34, of Massapequa. “The best part of it is that he [Hill] puts it in a language they understand. It’s hilarious and it captures their attention. He has a way of bringing it back around and making it all relatable.”
Assistant principal Jeff Galluzzo said the school, which is in the Farmingdale Public Schools district, has had Mad Science demonstrate science experiments for students for the past three years.
“The New York State science assessments for the fourth graders are in two weeks,” Galluzzo said. “They’ve been studying and doing experiments in the classroom to prepare for that. This assembly could reinforce some of those science concepts in a fun and exciting way.”
Assemblies were held throughout the day to expose everyone to this special lesson.
“Honestly, it’s the kids’ favorite assembly of the year,” Galluzzo said. “They hear about abstract science concepts in school, but now they can actually see it and play with it.”
Above: From left, Aidan Steinheimer, 7, John Lauritsen, 8, Anjali Pahavnai, 9, and Skylar Sindicic, 9, learn about sound vibrations from “Professor Will” Hill during the "Mad Science" assembly at Saltzman East Memorial Elementary School in East Farmingdale. (May 11, 2012)