Northborough Recreation digs into science with school vacation programming


Northborough Recreation digs into science with school vacation programming
Elma Shan folds over a tube on her marble run during February vacation programming in Northborough. (Photo/Laura Hayes)

NORTHBOROUGH – Northborough’s Town Hall gym was recently filled with the sound of marbles dropping.

Kids were busy building marble runs made out of toilet paper tubes, plastic lids and tape. 

“The projects have really held their interest,” Recreation Director Allie Lane told the Community Advocate. 

Lane runs programs every school vacation to help parents be able to go to work.

This was the first year that the department held its new Wicked Cool Engineering and Electricity program, though, during February vacation.

“It’s nice to let the parents know that we’re back, and we’re really trying to get the programming back up to speed,” Lane said.

This program was run by Wicked Cool for Kids, which is a Peabody-based education company that provides enrichment programs.

Kids worked on other activities involving Snap Circuit boards and survival engineering. They also built ping-pong ball cannons.  

“The kids are very engaged, that’s what’s important,” Lane said.

“Nobody’s bored,” she continued. “Everybody’s excited to be here. I’ll be honest, with 20 kids, that’s pretty rare to have everybody feel that way with the age range of kids in grades one through five.” 

The kids participated in four activities a day for each day during the course of this program. Activities included that marble run project, which took place on Feb. 23. 

“We’ve been talking about what it takes to plan and build all different things,” teacher Sarah Domings said.

She talked with the kids about how engineers and contractors build buildings in cities. Then, the kids put that lesson into action, designing their marble runs.

“Testing it was a big component,” Domings said. “Each time they add a new piece to their marble run, they have to test to make sure it actually works.”

She said she loves the creativity involved in the program and the fact that the kids get to do a lot of creating and problem solving themselves. 

Though students are now back in school after February break, the Recreation Department will be running programs over the April vacation. 

This year, the department plans to run golf, soccer, Spectacular Science, archery and horseback riding lesson programs. 

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