Eleven-year-old Luke Black stood on a ladder in the Harvard Allston Education Portal with a paper cup in one hand and another cup taped to string and bright-orange tissue paper in the other. A circle of parents and children pushed forward to get a better look. Addressing his audience as if he were a scientist, Black said, “Here is how it works: The air resistance keeps things from falling really quickly.” He dropped the cup. Then, he released his handmade parachute. The orange paper billowed out and the second cup slowly sank to the ground. Black continued his demonstration, launching a rainbow of parachute cups and sharing his observations of the performance of each to the gathering crowd. “He doesn’t need my help any more, I’m in the way now,” said Ed Portal mentor Tri Huynh ’13, as he proudly stood by his mentee. Huynh is the Harvard College junior who worked with Black for the past...
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