Hampden sixth graders turn COVID-19 experience into science experiment

Hampden sixth grader basis science project off COVID-19 symptoms
Hampden sixth grader basis science project off COVID-19 symptoms
Published: Dec. 14, 2020 at 10:32 PM EST|Updated: Dec. 14, 2020 at 10:34 PM EST
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HAMPDEN, Maine (WABI) - There’s a lot to learn about the coronavirus as some young minds in Hampden found out.

We caught up with a sixth-grader searching for answers after his classmate got COVID-19.

Beckham Rand, sixth-grader, said, “When I found out that my friend, Isaiah, was diagnosed with COVID-19, I had a lot of questions on what and why he couldn’t taste anything.”

The Reeds Brook Middle School sixth-grader says when he learned the only symptom Isaiah Shaw was experiencing was the loss of taste, he thought this could make an interesting science experiment.

Rand explained, “COVID-19 comes with a lot of symptoms, but thankfully, he only had one. We were trying to figure out what and why he couldn’t taste.”

Isaiah Shaw,sixth-grader, added, “I thought it was something interesting we could do one day.”

They came up with a list of different foods with various flavor profiles like bitter, sweet, spicy, and salty.

“We had an apple, a pickle, potato chip, white onion, lemon, red hot sauce, curry powder, carrot, a piece of celery, sugar and cocoa powder,” Rand said.

With help from their parents and their science teacher, Danielle Lorusso, the COVID-19 taste test was a go.

Science Teacher, Danielle Lorusso, said, “I thought it was wonderful. Beckham’s mom emailed me and said they were doing an experiment, and I was thrilled.”

Shaw explained, “It was kind of interesting to see what I thought things would be not knowing what it was and look at it after not knowing it was rather than what I thought it was.”

The virtual experiment was done via FaceTime while Isaiah tried the foods blindfolded and Beckham collected data. What they discovered was quite interesting.

“He wasn’t able to taste a lot of things. Many of the things he couldn’t taste at all. Interestingly, he could only taste the salt in foods,” Rand added.

Isaiah, said, “It was fun to be a part.”

“It added a positive spin to something that can be so negative, and I just loved that they wanted to go above and beyond and try to create a well-designed experiment and that’s just so exciting,” Lorusso, said.

Beckham would like to continue to collect data.

He’s inviting others to do their own COVID-19 taste tests and send him their results.

Beckham will send a google doc with instructions.

Just email him at

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