Area children get spooky with science | News

JOHNSTOWN, Pa. – An audience of area children watched in amazement as Matthew “Dr. Matt” Tracey performed Halloween-themed science experiments Saturday at the Heritage Discovery Center in the Cambria City section of Johnstown.

Tracey is a chemistry professor at the University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown.

Spooky Science attendees learned of scientific principles such as density and chemical reactions through holiday-centric experiments such as placing candy in fishbowls to see if they float or sink.

Marisa Tracey, children’s museum coordinator, said that she believes the organization is important for learning overall in addition to being a pillar of history for the community.

“So we try to have children’s events that are science related, holiday related, gardening, we try to run the gamut and try to teach some kids a whole bunch of different things,” she said.

Matt Tracey has hosted programs at the center multiple times and this was the second this year.

The event was provided free of charge due to funding made available through Intermediate Unit 8.

Four-year-old Jonathan Rutledge excitedly watched some of the experiments in the arms of his mom, Katie.

Like some of the others at the event, he attended in his Halloween costume. Jonathan attended dressed as a vampire bat.

The young boy said he enjoyed watching the experiments including one known as elephant toothpaste which Dr. Matt did inside a pumpkin and made the pumpkin appear as if it was vomiting.

Jonathan was even able to participate in one of the experiments by rubbing a balloon on his hair and attempting to pick up a bat cutout with the static it created.

“I think it’s great to introduce the kids to science in fun ways,” Katie Rutledge said. “It’s a great way to spend the morning.”

Katie Smolen is a reporter with The Tribune-Democrat. Follow her on Twitter @KSmolen1230.

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