campers had a
lot of fun this year. Here are pictures of the five
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
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
Some had nerves of steel others had the expected reaction.
Everyone who wanted to lined up holding small fluorescent bulbs between
When the first person in line touched the electrode everyone felt the
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
The kids got to investigate resonance of these disk/string/human
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
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
The addition of a tiny light source at the center completed the
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
Binary numbers can be used to represent any quantity using only the
symbols 1 and 0.
This would represent the binary number 24
and sorry 20
my photographer didn't get you in
In binary that would be written 11111. Which equals 31 in
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
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.
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
How many marbles will your aluminum foil boat hold before it sinks?
Can you build the tallest self supporting tower with marshmallows and
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.
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
Win or not we all had fun this week at Science and Math camp.