Friday, July 8, 2016

Science Sampler

Week 3 has been a fun-filled adventure exploring different science topics!

Tuesday's theme was chemistry. Campers got to make their own bouncy balls using special crystals. They poured the crystals into bouncy ball molds and held them underwater until they gelled. This activity seemed to be one of the favorites of the day! We also did two experiment activities. Acting as true chemists, campers explored the interactions between various powders and liquid solutions. They tested cornstarch, meat tenderizer, washing soda, baking soda, and cream of tarter with an iodine solution, a red cabbage solution, water and vinegar. They then had to identify the mystery powder by comparing its reactions to the others. We also experimented making "elephant's toothpaste." We combined dish soap, hydrogen peroxide and dissolved yeast into a container and watched it grow and ooze out over the top, just like toothpaste does! But this toothpaste was big enough to be fit for an elephant.
Camper chemists explore the mystery powder
Campers watch as the elephant toothpaste
overflows the bottle.

Campers wait patiently for their bouncy balls
to gel
On Wednesday, we learned about nanoscience. Campers got to play around with binary codes to understand the way that computers store data. We used a set of magnets as a model for how computer hard drives use magnetic regions to represent the 1s and 0s of the binary code. Campers then got to write their names in binary code. We talked about the powers of ten, and how we see exponential size differentials in our world. Campers got to play a card game where they compare things of different sizes, from atoms to large mammals to even big stars! We explored surface area by dissolving two antacid tablets in water, one that was whole and one that was broken into small pieces. Campers got to see how increased surface area helped the smaller pieces of antacid dissolve faster than the whole piece. We also learned about static electricity by rubbing a tube of small styrofoam balls against a fleece blanket, and watching the styrofoam become suspended inside of the tube.

Campers use magnets to understand
binary code
A camper explores how static electricity
makes styrofoam balls suspend mid-air inside a tube,


On Thursday, we became engineers for the day! We talked about the science of engineering and built towers out of index cards. Campers got to test the strength of their towers by putting different kinds of objects on top of them and seeing if they could withstand the weight. The craft of the day was creating stencil skylines. Campers designed their own city skylines on contact paper, stuck these to watercolor paper, and then painted around the top to create a city skyline contrasted against a colorful sky. Some campers had water squirted on their paper to create a cool dripping effect.

Campers paint their stencil skylines
Campers work together to create index card towers

A counselor spray's a camper's skyline
 painting with water to create a drip-down effect.

On Friday, we learned about physics. We got to make roller coasters out of foam tubes, paper towel rolls, and masking tape. Campers got creative using walls, chairs, and other large objects to create dynamic roller coasters! We also explored the physics of flight by making paper airplanes and butterfly flyers.  Campers got to see a planetarium show about flight, where we learned about aviation and the history of flight.

Campers decorate their butterfly flyers
Campers get some help from their counselor to perfect
their roller coaster before testing it
Campers use a wall to build their roller coaster

We hope that your camper learned about science, and had a whole lot of fun this week! We know we did! We are looking forward to seeing returning and new friends next week for our Week 4 sessions: Space Explorers in the morning and Fun with Physics in the afternoon. Have a great weekend!

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