Pikeville Science and Math Camp 2007
Week One

The campers had a lot of fun this year.  Here are pictures of the five groups.

This year campers learned about laboratory safety procedures then did chromatography of  inks. 
These will prove useful when they work to solve a heinous crime later in the week.

They learned how to identify rabbit, dog, cat, and human hair and fabric fibers and other evidence that might be found.

Various powders were analyzed.  They learned how to distinguish salt, baking soda, baking powder, sugar, plaster of paris, and corn starch.
They learned how to determine blood types so they could apply that skill to help solve a crime.

The chemistry instructor this year is a camp alumni from years ago.

Here they made devices that illustrated how the position of the circumpolar constellations change over the course of the year and the course of a night. 

Another of the projects was to build a spectroscope that could be used to split light into all of its colors. 
Astronomers can use the same technique to figure out what elements are in distant stars

They built launchers for pop bottle rockets powered by air pressure and water.

And then built and decorated the rockets.

The astronomy instructor is an alumnus of the camp as well. 

Liquid nitrogen was used to demonstrate how gases and solids change with temperature.  Superconductivity and the effect extreme cold has on the quantum levels and therefore the colors produced by light emitting diodes (LEDs).  They saw how fog, frost and snow could be formed when the moisture in the air was cooled and were very surprised when a banana was used to drive a nail and a flower disintegrated when it was cooled and then crushed. 

They checked the coefficient of friction with and without lubrication.
And investigated the viscosity of  things you might find in a fast food restaurant ranging from liquid soap to ketchup and mayonnaise.
They stood on eggs. 
There was some trepidation as the weight went up.
These two weren't even close to the maximum weight.
Listed below is the weight in pounds that a pair of eggs supported when each of the groups tried the experiment.
183.7 green,  235.8 yellow,  227.5 red,  246.8 blue
The orange group was unique in that  after one egg broke the other survived until it had 195.0 pounds on it.

Puzzles were used to illustrate computer logic and they saw a film about how computers work.

Each of the students used computers for several tasks. 
One of the most challenging was to make a composite picture of their physics instructor, me.

Here are some of the results.

The winners are shown with their drawings near the bottom of this page.

The campers carefully dissected owl pellets and found the bones of  rodents. 
They discovered ribs, teeth, vertebrae, jaws, skulls, and thigh bones. 

Then they checked their own thumbprints to see what  the pattern was.

They learned how to determine a person's blood type.

And how to interpret blood splatter patterns to learn about a crime.

Science Olympics
A series of competitions were held on Thursday. 
In this one the girls were using marshmallows and toothpicks to build the tallest tower that they could.

And the boys were recording their score in another event.

These guys were trying to duplicate a structure that they hadn't seen using only the instructions written by another member of their team.

Build a paper tower. 
Make it as tall as possible using only one sheet of paper and tape.

Or a boat out of  a square of aluminum foil.  How many marbles can sail in it?

A water balloon slingshot was a hit with the kids.

The scene of the crime that had to be solved using the forensic techniques that they had learned in their classes.

The big contest was to build a container that could catch an egg dropped from up to 6.5 meters above it. 
The shorter your container the higher the score.

Here are some of the entries.  A lot of thought and effort went into them.

The winners of the various contests

On Friday most of the students went to a science museum in Columbus Ohio.  Lots of hands on activities. 
An exhibit on animation amused these girls when they saw how their antics were transformed. 

Controlling mars rovers, riding a unicycle on a tight wire, and learning how cel animation is done.

What does several hundred thousand volts feel like?

You are an iron atom bound to an oxygen atom when there is an aluminum atom nearby and a little spark to start the reaction. 
That is the formula for a spectacular reaction, thermite.

We all had a great time.

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