Science Camp 2004
Week 1
July 12-16
We had a great time this week.   We had nearly 100 campers who wanted to learn all they could about Astronomy, Biology, Chemistry, Computers, and Physics.  Here are the class pictures.
The kids learned about the phases of the moon, what they are called and why they occur.  Each of them could take home a booklet in which they could show the night by night changes in what the moon looks like. They each built a rocket launcher out of chunks of wood, a sandwich bag, hot glue, bits of tubing, and duct tape.  Rockets were constructed out of drinking straws and bits of paper and cardboard.  Then they had a contest to see how far they could fire them. 



The campers learned about blood types, investigated human senses, and dissected two foot long dogfish sharks.  Some of the kids found and identified the heart, liver, brain and digestive system.  They checked the stomach contents to see what it had for its last meal.



The students dissected a computer, did some programming, and took part in a scavenger hunt for facts on the internet.



Chemical investigations included testing the efficacy of various sunscreens, growing crystals of alum, and evaluating several different antacids by checking how much acid they would neutralize.



Day one we did some bubbleology, generating some bubbles that were amazingly big.   Two straws and a length of cotton cord dipped in the bubble solution and swept through the air can make a bubble a couple of feet in diameter.  The top of second picture shows a bubble forming and at the bottom you can see that it has already started to pop.  With a couple of hula hoops and a shallow pan of the bubble solution can be used to make a bubble big enough to enclose a volunteer.  As the bubble is formed the surface tension of the soap film pulls it in to minimize the area and it pops as soon as it touches their hair or clothing.  We also made flat, cubic, tetrahedral, and just weird bubbles.  We also made bubbles that the kids put their head or hand through without popping.


Days two and three we constructed hot air balloons from tissue paper, rubber cement, a bit of wire and patience.  All the classes got to fly their balloons, most with considerable success.   A few landed in trees or down over the side of the hill (one went almost a mile before touchdown) and several caught fire at launch when a gust of wind caused the tissue paper to come too close to the chimney of the heater.  That outcome was usually greeted with cheers and calls to burn another one.


Contests held during the week included the range of the mini rockets, the internet scavenger hunt, and physics olympic events like the laser target shoot, periodic table word search, toothpick and marshmallow tower, aluminum foil boat and others.


Here are pictures of the winners.


The big contest was to build a platform out of popsicle sticks and glue to catch a steel ball dropped on it from various heights.  To be counted as a successful catch the ball couldn't break through or bounce out.   To be the winner the platform had to be light, short and strong.  Each of the competitors carefully placed their catcher on the testing tower then pulled a pin to release the ball.  You can see it in the air in 2 of the pictures.   If their construction survived that the tester was set up to drop the ball from ever increasing heights up to nearly 5 feet. 

The winners with their entries and their prizes.


Field trip

This years field trip was to the Cincinnati Zoo.  It started rather inauspiciously by meeting at 6:30 AM for a 4 hour trip (each way) on school buses.   But the trip was easy and the kids had a good time.  

We all had a wonderful time at camp.

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If you would like more information on the camp or the projects and challenges you can E-mail Nancy and Alan