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Elemental Error in Bid for Record

Kristin Anderson ’14,  Staff Writer

Photo by Kevin Salemme

Wondering — even periodically — what that giant thing painted on the field is?

The world’s largest periodic table of elements was on view here at Merrimack. Faculty members and students installed the table on the field between Walsh Way and Warrior Field. Professor Warren Kay of the Religious and Theological Studies Deparment formed the idea to promote the new Science and Religion minor and also science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) education. The table measures 216 feet by 130 feet, which is larger than any other periodic table.

However, Guinness World Records would like to believe otherwise. The table here was marked with paint, and because of this Guinness is not on board. They would have liked something more like cardboard, but because Merrimack feels a great responsibility to sustainability, other materials were out of the question.

The table was revealed on Oct. 27, at the annual STEM carnival, Thinkfest. The carnival was put together by Dean of Science and Engineering, Mary Noonan, Assistant Dean Gary Spring and the President-Elect of the Boston Society of Civil Engineers, Reed Brockman.

About 300 middle and high school students, including those from the Lawrence Math Science Partnership, the Science Club for Girls and families from the local communities attended Thinkfest and participated in the many hands-on activities it had to offer. Noonan, said the goal of this event “is to inspire young people to careers in science and engineering by demonstrating their fun and relevance to our everyday lives.” In collaboration with Merrimack, there were more than 30 other exhibitors including the Museum of Science, Cambridge Science on the Streets, and iRobot.

“The future of our nation’s economic prosperity rests in our collective ability to lead in STEM education and engagement and Merrimack College is committed to make our nation prosper by developing and training future STEM leaders,” said Noonan. Between the periodic table and Thinkfest, Merrimack is doing a lot to help develop these leaders.

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