Pikeville Science and Math Camp 2009
Week two

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

And some of my helpers this year.

Learn about laboratory safety and color your own safety goggles for use throughout the week of camp.
The kids learned the number of atoms in a mole of any chemical (6.022x1023).
To be sure they remembered the name they made moles of a different kind from felt and fluff.
A few of the results.
That first one seems to have been exposed to some mutagen.
Figure out just how big a mole is.

While studying electrostatics we built electroscopes that could be used to detect the charge on a balloon.
Used that charge to light a fluorescent bulb then fired up the Van de Graaff to study the effect of higher voltage.
A couple of the human electroscopes.
When they reached out to touch the Van de Graaff electrode a spark would jump.
Some had nerves of steel others had the expected reaction.
Everyone who wanted to lined up holding small fluorescent bulbs between them.
When the first person in line touched the electrode everyone felt the effect.
Despite the obvious shock (in several senses of the word) the most common request was "Do it again."
They built telegraph sounders and learned a little Morse code.
A one string guitar/violin let them investigate the effect of changing the length of a vibrating string.
Not everyone enjoyed the "tunes" of the novice buglers.
Resonance can be a good thing at many scales.
 Musical instruments, precise timekeeping,  MRIs, and understanding some orbits all rely on resonance of their system.
The kids got to investigate resonance of these disk/string/human systems.
Add a little energy at just the right time over and over again and you can make the disk spin at very high speed.
Resonance can also be a bad thing as we saw in the Tacoma Narrows bridge newsreel.
We also found the very few can hear a 20,000 hertz (cycles/sec) tone.
More can hear 17,000 and still more 15,000 and lower frequencies.
In another experiment we determined that a class full of kids, all shouting, can reach more than 102 decibels (dB).

A peculiar visitor showed up one day.

The students turned plastic domes into planetarium projectors they could use in any dark room.
They used a template of the sky as a guide to the placement of their stars.
The addition of a tiny light source at the center completed the projector project.
They built rockets which demonstrate chemistry and physics as well as the exploration of outer space.
These used the reaction of the acid and base in an Alka Seltzer tablet for power.
These had a simple rubber band launcher.
They were used later in the week as part of the Science Olympics contests.

Binary numbers can be used to represent any quantity using only the symbols 1 and 0.
This would represent  the binary number 24, 23, 22, 21 and sorry 20 my photographer didn't get you in the frame.
In binary that would be written 11111.  Which equals 31 in decimal.
Some computer games let the kids explore binary notation some more.
Can you simulate a fax machine?
There are several ways to encode an image.
A list of numbers each representing the count of successive white or black spaces is easy and efficient for most pictures.
A checkerboard would be an exception.

You are on an island and you need to allocate your resources so that you provide for the needs of yourself and your companions.
This game simulates the decisions you will have to make.
The students got a sample of some of their cells then extracted the DNA from them.
This year the students dissected a squid.
It is surprising how many parts can be identified.
The varied reactions to the process were to be expected.

Science Olympics
Answer the questions in the "Who wants to be a Millionaire" game to win a prize at the end of the day.
Not a million dollars but you will be happy with the reward.

How many words can you make with the letter combinations on the periodic table?
How many marbles will your aluminum foil boat hold before it sinks?
Can you build the tallest self supporting tower with marshmallows and toothpicks?
Complete an obstacle course with the rocket you built.
Make a bridge with toothpicks and a tower with paper.
These are only some of the tasks in these Olympics.

Straw Tower Contest

Each student could build a tower at home and bring it in to be tested.
The objective was to make it as tall and strong as possible using only standard drinking straws and masking tape.
They were judged by placing marbles in a container on top.
When the weight reached 1 kg. (187 marbles) the container was replaced with an iron weight, emptied, put on top and the filling process continued.
Here are some of the entries.
Some trepidation was evident as the students watched their entries being tested prior to their inevitable destruction.
Note the stack of iron weights on some of the towers.

Winners from the competitions.

Win or not we all had fun this week at Science and Math camp.

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