Friday, August 12, 2016

Natural Science Extravaganza

This week, the campers learned all about nature during Natural Science Extravaganza in the morning!

Campers play Quick-Frozen Critters outside!

 On Monday, the campers became zoologists and learned all about different kinds of animals.  They played a guessing game, where they had to look at pictures and use context clues to guess the animal! What do the number 5, a picture of a beach, a photo of the stars, and a close up of a fish have in common? You guessed it - starfish! The campers then made habitat dioramas where they used craft items to make a habitat suitable for their plastic animal! 

Campers create their animal habitats
The campers then learned about taxonomy and the classification of animals.  They pick an animal, and then with the help of their counselors they looked up the taxonomy of that animal. Finally, they ended the day with a game outside called Quick-Frozen Critters.  Some of the campers were prey animals, and others were predators.  The campers learned skills that each animal uses in the wild to survive!

Campers show off their "moose" structure

Tuesday was our day to travel to Nichols Arboretum where the campers learned about ecology.  The campers got to walk through trails in the Arb and observe the wildlife, both plants and animals. We even saw a few deer walking around!  The campers also had a blast building fairy homes for the Arboretum's fairy population. Then, after a snack in the Arb, the counselors read the campers a story about a girl who turns into various animals in the forest.  She explores the forest from the perspective of each animal, revealing how different the forest looks to each critter.  Finally, after a quick stop at the Huron River, the campers walked back to the Museum, where a freeze pop treat was waiting for them!

A camper measures a penny using
calipers made at camp
Campers listen as their counselor tell them
about looting at archaeological sites
Wednesday was all about Archaeology.  The campers learned about the tools archaeologists use, and about what kind of work they do. Then the campers were shown a map of an archaeological site and tried to figure out what the site might have been used for.  Then we told the campers that some items in the site had been stolen by looters, and showed them what the original site looked like.  The campers learned how looters can change the way that archaeologists view a site, and how damaging looters can be to the preservation of historical sites!  Then the campers took a dive into Lake Ontario and discovered the sunken remains of the SS Edmund Fitzgerald.  They made maps of what they saw, and took note in what artifacts they found at the bottom of the lake.  They also learned about the history of this ship wreck, which is the most famous of all ship wrecks on the Great Lakes!
Campers sketch a map of the SS Fitzgerald shipwreck in their journals!

A camper works on drawing a really complex maze!

 On Thursday, the campers reached for the stars, and learn all about Astronomy.  The campers made mazes on paper plates, and then used magnets on popsicle sticks to move a spaceship with a magnet through their maze! Campers then got to play the game PLANETS the Game, where they traveled through the solar system to various planets, and even got abducted by aliens!  By using the shadow from the sun, the campers learned about how the Moon rotates, even thought we
Another camper demonstrates how to use the magnetic
spaceship on his maze!
on Earth only see the same side of the moon. Finally, the campers headed to the Museum's planetarium for a show guided by orange groups counselor!  The campers learned about the constellations in the night sky, and what they might see right now in their own backyards.  To end the planetarium show, the campers flew into a simulation of what a black hole might look like!

A camper smiles as her pop-up triceratops stomps
through the forest

Campers play a quick game of clever catch!
On Friday, the campers became paleontologists and learned about prehistoric animals!  The campers had a quick tour of the Museum's dinosaur floor, and got to see some hands on items!  Later, the campers to assemble a mysterious animal puzzle, and try to figure out what kind of animal it is that they found. After, the campers made prehistoric pop-up cards.  We had a pre-made triceratops for campers to color in, but some creative campers made their own dinosaurs! Finally, the campers got to use some of the tools that paleontologists use, and searched for fossil remains in our sand dig box.  The campers gridded the site, and then searched for fossils.  They even got to keep their favorite fossil find!

Campers search for fossils in our
dinosaur sand dig box!

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