This year at camp the kids investigated facial reconstruction software, 3-D animation, and the World Wide Web in their computer classes. In biology they dissected a frog, looked at fingerprinting and hair/fiber analysis which would prove useful later in their crime scene investigation. During their chemistry sessions they learned about chromatography, analyzed several white powders, and searched for clues using their new scientific tools and deductive powers. They built a star projector and some tools that are used in astronomy. In physics we investigated the effects of cryogenic temperatures on some physical, chemical and electrical properties of matter and looked at some physics that can be done with things that you find in fast food restaurants. The kids were also challenged with contests to see who could generate the best computer composite drawing of Mr. Arts, solve a crime, get the highest score on the Olympic events and build the strongest, lightest, and most earthquake resistant spaghetti tower. The field trip this year was to COSI in Columbus Ohio.
Spectroscopes, planispheres (star finders), and star projectors were the astronomy projects.
In this part of the program the students analyzed 5 different inks using chromatography. Yes, Nancy was the instructor for that session. They also applied several reagents in order to determine how each of 4 different white powders would react. Both of the analytical techniques proved useful in the crime scene investigation.
Rob Foster showed them how to use a program to make a composite drawing like is used during police investigations. They were also challenged to find information on the web in an internet scavenger hunt.
The students saw cryogenics demonstrations, made musical instruments you won't find in the orchestra and bird calls from straws, measured the coefficient of friction and viscosity of things that are found in a fast food restaurant (they tried soap, wet soap, vegetable oil, salad dressings, pop, and ketchup), and built cartesian divers.
For close up pictures of the cryogenic demonstrations click here.
Fingerprint and fiber analysis helped our detectives solve the nefarious crime they discovered during their Wednesday chemistry session.
They all learned a lot as they dissected frogs.
The spaghetti tower
The kids competed to build a tall sturdy tower that was tested on an earthquake machine. The third picture shows the winning tower with its engineer sighting in on it. It held more than 20 Kg. (44 lb.) for more than 10 minutes of shaking before it failed. We had time to learn the game of Nim. The student who plays next has a win if he recognizes his best move.
We made Wizard Ice Cream this week too but you will need to go to the pictures from last week to see how it is done since we forgot to get pictures. We did make it in just under 20 seconds for a new record. Very vigorous stirring and getting just the right amount of liquid nitrogen into the mix on the first try helped a lot in setting the record.
Two of the events were the blind laser maze where one of the team is blindfolded and the other members try to give instructions on how to place mirrors so that the beam makes it to the other end. The other is a target shoot where two mirrors must be set to make the beam hit a target that is blocked by a barricade. The problem here is that the laser isn't on until after the mirrors are in position. I tried it and despite knowing a bit of physics and not doing too badly at billiards I didn't do very well on this problem.
Prizes were awarded for the physics Olympics, internet scavenger hunt, the crime scene detectives, best facial reconstruction, million dollar science quiz and the spaghetti tower.
Trip to the COSI
We started with a ride on the unicycle. Some were apprehensive but took on the challenge. then up to gadgets for investigations of pulleys, electricity, lasers, air pressure and how things work. Time travel to 1898 and then to 1962 where they saw how a TV studio looked and ran when I was young. The King's throne room where an earthquake nearly upset them. And on to outer space through a tunnel that was spinning around you with most disorienting effects.
Robert Arts, the program
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