Friday, July 1, 2016

Adventures in Chemistry

Campers walk through paper
On Monday, the campers experimented with different types of reactions.  They learned the difference between chemical and physical reactions. Campers got to make colorful explosions with baking soda and colored vinegar (a chemical reaction). Next the campers walked through zigzagged paper (a physical reaction).  Later in the day, the campers got to see how sugar dissolves differently in water, oil, and corn syrup.

Fizzy color dazzles campers

Campers display their hidden messages
Campers tie dye bandannas
Tuesday was all about acids and bases! Campers used cabbage juice as an indicator to determine what was an acid, and what was a base.  They tested a variety of liquids such as lemon juice, vinegar, soap, and baking soda solution.   The campers used bandannas pre-soaked in cabbage juice to create their own pH Tie Dye.  Lemon Juice made the purple/blue bandanna turn pink, while baking soda made it turn green! Then the campers wrote invisible messages on paper using lemon juice.  Who knows what they wrote/drew! We'll have to wait for the paper to be heated up, for the message to be revealed.  Finally the campers tested waters samples gathered by their counselors from the Argo cascades, and the Huron river near the Arb.
Campers use pH tablets to test Huron River water.

A Camper waits for her Solar Powered Print
On Wednesday, the campers got to experience the power of bacteria.  By adding sugar water to yeast (bacteria!), the yeast made carbon dioxide inside the bottle.  The campers watched as the yeast inflated the balloon attached to the bottle.  Campers then got to create their own Solar Powered Prints.  They scratched their design into paper and let the sun do the rest of the work.  The prints then developed in cool water set in the shade.  Towards the end of the day, the campers took their colorful rockets and launched them into space.  Using alka-seltzer and water to create a chemical reaction, the rockets blasted off 10 feet into the air!
Campers watch yeast inflate the balloon!

Campers show off how long they can stretch out our slime!
On Thursday, campers went on a treasure hunt around the Museum in search of polymers (plastic).  They learned about the 7 different recycling codes and got to see some examples of each!  Using paperclips to represent monomers, the campers connected them to create chains of monomers, also known as polymers.  The favorite activity of the day, was our color changing slime.  We mixed up slime with the campers and added ThermoChromic pigment, the same stuff that is in mood rings. The campers loved playing with our color-changing slime!

Campers watch Oobleck dance!

On Friday, our final day of Adventures in Chemistry, the camper got to experience food chemistry!  They tested various food items for starch and glucose using iodine, and TesTape strips. Today, we had a special treat at snack!  Campers added baking soda to lemonade to create a fizzy lemonade drink.  Campers experimented with dissolving M&Ms in different sugar solutions. They enjoyed watch the M float away!

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