Friday, June 29, 2012

Astronomy Adventure 2

It is hard to believe this week is over! We have spent 5 exciting days exploring various topics in Astronomy, from comets to constellations.

On Monday, we discussed galaxies, black holes and craters. We talked about galactic structures and what galaxies are made of, and then made our own galaxy montages by coloring coffee filters, dripping water on them to create a swirly galactic effect, and then cutting them up into different galaxies. We talked about some black hole myths, such as "You can see a black hole" and "Black holes lead to other places." We then made craters by dropping sports balls into bins of sugar.

Turner's group making their craters.
Catalina, Lucas and Nolan making their galaxies.

On Tuesday, we learned about different types of star classifications. For example, red stars are the oldest, largest and coldest while blue stars are the youngest and hottest.We made constellation cups by puncturing holes in the bottom of paper cups in the shapes of different constellations. We then shined a flashlight through them so the constellations were projected onto a wall. We also talked about some constellation stories and did an activity to investigate if all stars are like the sun.
Turner's group playing a game.

On Wednesday, we went to the Planetarium where we learned about the planets. We also created our own creatures from other planets!

Eve wearing her astronaut helmet!
On Thursday, we had a space food presentation where we learned about and saw some different kinds of food that astronauts eat in space. We even got to taste some! We also made space helmets out of paper bags and red cling wrap. We even made some space belts to hold our gadgets. After that, we created secret messages that we could only read through our space helmet.

Rachel painting her comet!

On Friday, we saw another Planetarium Show, Cosmic Colors, and learned about how things travel through our universe. The older campers saw a comet demonstration where a comet was made out of dry ice, sand and water. This simulated the journey of a comet as it turns directly from a solid to a gas. The younger campers made their own comets.

Laila with her comet!

Our counselors leading the comet demonstration.

Our comet!

Physical Science Quest 2

We have had a fun, informative, adventurous and exciting week here at camp! Our theme this week was
Physical Science, so we explored a wide range of topics from the pH scale to bottle rockets.

Roni helping Alex add pennies to his boat.
Rylee and Kyri entering their team's measurements on the Water Olympics score board.
On Monday, we investigated the water cycle and water properties. We made boats out of aluminum foil and then counted how many pennies we could fill the boat with until it sank. We explored different stages of the water cycle in an activity called The Incredible Journey, in which we traveled between the different stages and collected a bead at each one. These beads decorated a bracelet that symbolizes how water can move between the different phases in a variety of ways and directions. Next, each counselor’s group competed against the others in a Water Olympics, comprised of 4 water-riffic events! We saw how many drops of water could fit on a penny, how many pennies we could put in a full cup of water before it overflows, and how many paperclips we could float on the surface of water, all investigating the surface tension of water molecules. We also tested the absorbency of two types of paper towel by dipping them into water and seeing how far up the paper towel strip it soaked in.

Hazen rolling the dice in the Incredible Journey to see which phase of the water cycle he would visit next!       

Justin seeing how many paper clips can float on water.

Roni's group adding pennies to their cup of water.

Bridget testing the absorbency of paper towel.

On Tuesday, we tested the acidity of different substances using cabbage. We did this by crushing purple cabbage in warm water, and then examining what color it turned when we added the different substances. Substances like lemon juice and vinegar, which are acidic, turn a red or pink color when mixed with the cabbage juice. Bases like window cleaner and baking soda turn blue, green or yellow.. We also made our own soda pop using club soda and a variety of food coloring and ingredients to enhance the taste! We learned a lot about balancing each ingredient to create a tasty concoction!

Anthony crushing cabbage in water.
Cole added all possible ingredients to his soda!

On Wednesday, we took a field trip to the Hands On Museum and participated in a Circuits Lab. We created many different electrical circuits that we see in everyday life, including a Burglar Alarm and Street Lights. We learned about how electricity travels in a circle, and that one kink in this circle can prevent something from working.
Manish and Justin creating a circuit during the workshop.

Cole sitting in an ambulance at the Hands On Museum.

Manish and Alex working on their rollercoaster.
On Thursday, we had fun with physics! We made rollercoasters using pipe insulation, masking tape, and toilet paper tubes. We talked about gravity, potential and kinetic energy, and force. We also made catapults using toilet paper tubes and spoons. We learned about how resistance is important for a catapult to launch an object.
Kyle's group making catapults.

On Friday, we made bottle rockets out of 2-liter plastic bottles. Each group decorated their rocket, and then we went over to the big lawn in front of the ROTC building to launch them high into the sky! They were quite a sight to see, and definitely ended this week with a BANG!

Bridget, Mary and Rylee's "Bat-rocket" won the award for best design!
Shooting off our rockets!

We hope your children had a fun and educational time spent here at the Museum of Natural History. We sure had a fun time with them, and can’t wait to see some of them back later this summer!

Monday, June 25, 2012

Astronomy Adventure 2

We are so excited for our second week of camp, and hope you are too! You can use this blog to follow some of the camp happenings going on at the Museum and beyond.

Here are some suggestions of what to ask your children about at the end of each day!

                Ask me about some Black Hole myths.
                Ask me what we learned about galaxies.
            Ask me about star classifications.
            Ask me about some of the constellations we made.
            Ask me about the Planetarium Show we saw, Wonderful Rocket.
            Ask me about the creature that we created.
            Ask me about space food.
            Ask me why astronauts feel weightless in space.
            Ask me about the Planetarium Show we saw, Travel through Universe.
            Ask me about comets!

Physical Science Quest 2

We are so excited for our second week of camp, and hope you are too! You can use this blog to follow some of the camp happenings going on at the Museum and beyond.

Here are some suggestions of what to ask your children about at the end of each day!

                Ask me about the water cycle.
                Ask me about my favorite activity from the Water Olympics!
                Ask me about using cabbage to tell if something is acidic.
                Ask me about the soda that I made.
                Ask me about the Circuits Workshop at the Hands-On Museum!
                Ask me how rollercoasters work.
                Ask me about the catapult that I made.
                Ask me how high my bottle rocket flew!
                Ask me about some science words I can use to describe how rockets fly.

Friday, June 22, 2012

Astronomy Adventure 1

On Monday, we compared planet sizes using sports balls and created our own planet! We also played Solar System Bingo, created solar system tongue twisters, and made cosmic vacation brochures.

Tuesday we visited the planetarium to learn about constellations. We learned that even though the stars in the sky look close together to us, they are actually very far from one another. We also talked about the myths behind several well known constellations we can see in our night sky. By using the star finder we created we can find the constellations we talked about. If you go outside, point your star finder north, and turn it to the right date and time, you can find the constellations we talked about in your own backyard!

On Wednesday, we launched rockets using Alka-Seltzer and film canisters. This showed us how a real rocket works! The controlled explosion (Alka-Seltzer and water) caused a build-up of pressure, and the release caused a reaction in the opposite direction, propelling the rocket into the air. We also made our own spacecrafts.

Working on making their rockets!

Nina, Bregon, and David show off their rockets before the big launch!

Terah with her rocket!

Emily and Drew display their spacecrafts.

Thursday we learned about Rovers. We took turns traveling through an obstacle course as rovers an collecting rock samples while a driver gave us directions. We also took a look at Mars and explored whether or not there could be life!

Friday we went on an exciting field trip to the Angell Hall Observatory! We were able to safely view the sun through powerful telescopes, and we even saw Jupiter! The visit to the planetarium was also very interesting. We learned about the Moon, Sun, and Earth!

Physical Science Quest 1

Our first week of camp has been going great! We have had many exciting experiments and even more exciting campers to share them with!

On Monday, we experimented with Luminescence. We did a Glow Stick experiment, in which we cut up glow sticks and placed them in cups of warm and cold water. The fast-moving molecules of the warm water caused the glow stick to glow much brighter, yet for a shorter time, than the one placed in cold water. Then we made Glow in the Dark sculptures!!

Elaina connecting her group's individual polymer chains.
On Tuesday, we investigated polymers. We discussed the structure of polymers by creating chains of monomers (a stencil of a stick figure). The result was a strand of people (the polymer).

Myra coloring her individual polymer chain.

Next, we made silly putty and bouncy balls, two examples
Adi with his slime!
of polymers that we see in everyday life. We also explored polymer properties by extracting the powder from a disposable diaper and seeing how it absorbs water.

Hannah's group making their silly putty and bouncy balls.

On Wednesday, we did an Egg Drop experiment
Roni dropping one of her groups' egg contraptions from the Rotunda balcony.
 and then made towers out of crafts materials. Only two of the eight groups' eggs broke!

Brittany helping Drew and Scott see if their egg broke from the fall.

Ready to test our boomerangs!

On Thursday, we took a field trip to the Hands on Museum to do a Flying Toys workshop. We built and tested paper airplanes and boomerangs.

On Friday, we had a lot of chemistry fun! We did an exploding lunch bag experiment, where we put vinegar, water and baking soda inside of a zip-lock bag and watched it expand and, finally, explode! We cleaned pennies in a special vinegar and salt solution. Finally, we tested different kinds of juice with an acid (vinegar) and a base (washing soda solution) to find which juice was artificial.

We had a great week and hope your campers did too! Be sure to ask your children about the experiments that we did so you can hear first-hand what we discovered!