Camp 2005 Week
had a great group of
campers this year and they had fun trying lots of science experiments.
The Seventh and Eighth Grade
They had the opportunity
participate in activities in 5 fields of study.
This year the campers
pennies. The found their weight and therefore density was
different. It depended on the date they were minted, earlier
all copper and later ones copper clad zinc. They masde a
through the copper so they could
dissolve the zinc out of the newer ones. They investigated
corrosion of iron in different solutions and found that a wooden
skewer could be pushed through a balloon without popping it, if you
the trick. In fabric lab they
discovered that some kinds of material took up dyes differently and
could be used to determine just what fibers each was made
In biology they sampled their own DNA using
cells from the
inside of their cheeks, separated it from those cells and put it in a
tiny container on a necklace they could keep. They
visited a remote island where they had to decide how to manage their
resources so they could all survive. Well actually they
the visit with paper stand-ins for their resources.
They also got to dissect grasshoppers and eyeballs.
In computer science they learned about number
including binary and how it is used to code letters and numbers in
computers. They searched the World Wide Web to find facts in
internet scavenger hunt and they became part of a model of the web
showing how the whole network is linked together.
campers investigated magnetic fields, how electric current could
produce them and how a motor works. They used some of what
learned to build telegraph sounders (those required careful adjustment)
and then tried to figure out
messages sent in Morse code. Wednesday they investigated
some unusual musical instruments and built a couple. They
that sound travels through solids and gases and that suggested an
experiment they could try in a swimming pool. They also were
introduced to the decibel (dB) scale. The room as
possible it was 64 dB (due mostly to a noisy air conditioner) , with
everyone singing it was about 80 dB, and everyone shouting it was just
over 100 dB. Fifteen minutes a day at that level can result
damage to your hearing.
Campers built and
properties of airfoils. They used a wind tunnel to measure
lift of a test wing. Then used what they found out to make
size wings for model
airplanes. Thursday they had a contest to see which one flew the
farthest and which stayed up the longest.
We had lots of
addition to those in aeronautics and the web scavenger hunt.
There was the laser target shoot, building and testing a
periodic table word search, water balloon slingshot, toothpick and
marshmallow tower, an aluminum foil
boat, and the science millionaire game had some of them scratching
their heads. A new contest this year was to figure
out a shape that was hidden from view by rolling marbles at it and
seeing which way they came out. This is the same problem that
early atomic scientists had when they were trying to figure out what
the atom looked like by shooting alpha particles at them.
the campers enjoyed learning the game of nim, solving Tangrams, and
tackling the 8 queens problem. No prizes for those other than
satisfaction of figuring them out.
The home construction
challenge was to
build a tower using pasta that
would have a CD on top like a radio relay antenna. The
was another CD that was bolted down during testing. There was
restriction on the kind of pasta or glue and up to 2 pounds of
materials could be used. Of course the taller and lighter the
were the higher they would score. We bounced a laser off the
on to a target so that we could measure how rigid the towers
They were then subjected to a "hurricane" supplied by a leaf blower
with a variac for speed control. The strongest stood up to a
blast but were heavy so they didn't score well. There was a
of thought and ingenuity demonstrated in the designs. The
had a good
tradeoff between weight, height and strength. The winner
tallest, strongest, or lightest but had the best combination of them
We all visited a great science museum in
Ohio. Some of them tried a unicycle high
below and used their bodies to demonstrate centripetal
force. Some of them tried to lift themselves using
mechanical advantage of a block and tackle or disassembled a computer
to its inter most elements in the gadget
basketball and a Foucault pendulum demonstrating that the earth is
turning are things you don't see every day.
The Volunteer Helpers
The instructors really appreciate the hard working volunteers who
helped out. Most of them had come through the camp in prior
and had fun so they wanted to take part again.
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