Marisa DeCiucis, a Shelton High School senior, painted a mural starring a female scientist in a Shelton High stairway for her Capstone project.
The mural’s message is that anyone can work in the field of science, despite women making up only 29% of the science and engineering workforce, according to the National Girls Collaborative Project’s website.
“I think it is important to have a female scientist because she represents my belief that science is open to anyone who is curious about how the world works and … who is determined to understand the reason why the world works the way it does,” DeCiucis said.
The 13- by 7-foot mural, at the top of staircase 4-C, has a female scientist creating a chemical reaction, DeCiucis said. The idea came from DeCiucis’s passion for science and her desire to major in biotechnology at Southern Connecticut State University starting next fall.
“I was inspired by my love for chemistry and my love for science in general,” DeCiucis said. “I had [the] design with a chemical reaction going off and inside each bubble are various science topics.”
DeCiucis’s mentor was Mr. Macary, a Shelton High chemistry teacher. He was a good match because he has the same devotion to science and art as she has, DeCiucis said.
“I chose him because he is an amazing artist and has done murals in the past,” DeCiucis said. “He also loves science and art as much as I do.”
The mural took 50 hours from the initial drawing in the summer to completion, DeCiucis said. The painting of the mural had multiple steps to get it to its final appearance.
“The first stage to painting the mural was to grid the wall and sketch my drawing,” DeCiucis said. “Then I outlined the scientist and insides of the bubbles with a sharpie. After, I painted the scientist, then the background and lastly the bubbles.”
Her favorite part of creating the mural was painting the scientist, she said. It allowed her to give the mural its unique character.
“I love being able to create a character and try to be able to give her life by adding small details and expressions,” DeCiucis said. “Once the color was added in, she really felt complete and she gave the mural character from that.”
DeCiucis hopes her mural will be a cheery addition to the halls of Shelton High School.
“I think the future outcomes of the mural being in a public stairway are positive,” DeCiucis said. “I feel it allows students and staff to look at the mural and appreciate its detail. I hope it will be a landmark at SHS and students and staff will remember it.”