Science Camp 2004
Seventh and Eighth Grade
July 19-23

Class Pictures

Waxing, waning, quarter, new , full, crescent and gibbous, all names for the phases of the moon that we see.  Just why does the visible part of the moon change?  They used diagrams and models to investigate what was going on.  The students paid close attention and now they know how the positions of the sun earth and moon cause the phases and I'll bet  most would be able to explain why you can see similar phases when you look at Venus through a telescope.

What type are you?  What blood type that is.  The students looked into the process of determining blood types A, B, O and the Rh factor.  They also investigated their senses and dissected a dogfish shark.

The students tried to find the liver, digestive system, brain, ...   Could they figure out whether it was male or female?   What did the skin feel like?  What else did they notice?  They were fascinated.

In the computer classes campers got to do a dissection as well.  This time they dissected a computer learning the function of each of the parts.  Why do they have fans?  Where is the memory?   What do all these boards do?  What does a disk drive look like (outside and inside)?  They now know more about what is involved when they need to upgrade a computer. 

You can see that the campers did real chemistry.  On Monday they learned about crystals and started to grow some from an alum (KAl(SO4)2*12H2O) solution.  Tuesday they checked the effectiveness of several different sunscreens.  Wednesday they measured how much acid was neutralized by various antacids to determine their relative effectiveness.

Campers had great fun making bubbles.  Two straws and a length of string will let you make huge bubbles.  A couple of hula hoops and a shallow pan of bubble solution can be used to make a bubble that can swallow a camper.   We also made bubbles inside bubbles, bubbles on a plate and used pipe cleaners to make weird bubble shapes and found that bubbles can count, measure angles, and solve complex math problems.  The bubble solution we used was made using 1/4 cup of Dawn dishwashing soap (Joy also works well),  1 tablespoon of glycerin, and  2.5 cups of water (use a half cup less if the humidity is high, more if the humidity is low). We scaled this mix to make gallons of solution.  The bubbles are fun but not so neat as you can see from the last picture but the kids all had clean hands,

We used tissue paper, thin wire and rubber cement to build hot air balloons.  Campers learned about the first balloon flight and some of the problems that the inventors/pilots had and how they dealt with them.  It took about 2 hours of gluing, marking, cutting and then more gluing to make the balloons ready for flight testing. 

Science Olympics

This week's contests tested the range of the mini rockets, finding information in an internet scavenger hunt, and physics olympic events such as a blindfolded laser maze, periodic table word search, toothpick and marshmallow tower, aluminum foil boat and others.  The big contest was to build a structure out of popsicle sticks and glue that would catch a steel ball dropped onto it.  The ball must not break the catcher or bounce out.  A formula was used to determine which one won with weight, height and strength as parameters.   It rained so outdoor activities were canceled during the early part of the day.  That meant that a couple of the classes didn't get to launch their balloons at school.   They did take them home and I hope that they did manage to try them there.  We offered an assortment of challenges to those classes.  They included the eight queens problem, the game of nim, some paper and pencil games/puzzels, and some topology problems and mechanical puzzles. 


The winners

Field trip

This year's trip was to the Cincinnati Zoo where we saw iguanas, tigers and dinosaurs as well as many other creatures.  A transportation problem delayed our return to Pikeville, for some, until the wee hours of Saturday morning.  But we all had fun and are looking forward to next year's 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