Pikeville Science and Math Camp 2014 week 2

As campers sign in Monday morning they met some of the instructors and helpers for the week.

Then they assemble to hear about the week's activities.
The ones who had been at camp previously have their hands up.

Campers were all anxious to begin.
Put on your Red Cyan Anaglyph glasses to see them in 3D.  

Not to be overlooked our team of instructors..

And the folks signing in.

If you can't find your anaglyph glasses here they all are in old fashioned 2D.

Camp director Dr. Robert Arts describing the week's activities to the campers.


Campers built portable sundials and a solar motion demonstrator that shows the apparent path of the sun and how it changes with date and latitude.

They learned how telescopes use lenses to make distant things seem close.

Then built and decorated their own.

Then tried them out.

If you are returning from space you will need a well made parachute.
Take care when you are building yours.

Some of the colorful results.

Testing is part of the fun.



Campers were given a list of genetic traits (e.g. hair color, hair line, chin shape and nine others) with a bead color or shape associated with each possibility for that trait.
For hair, black, brown, auburn, red, or blond would each have its own bead color.
They assembled a bracelet with a bead for each trait that illustrated their personal unique combination.

They learned some of the organelles of plant and animal cells.

Then painted plaster models of each.


The kids got to dissect a frog so they would know it inside and out.
Some really got into identifying all the organs.
All were fascinated when someone found that their frog was full of eggs (the black masses in one of the pictures).

Campers learned safety rules that would apply in all their classes.
They decorated a pair of safety glasses with their own choice of colors.
The glasses were for their use throughout the week and then they could take them home.

They used universal indicator to measure the pH of a variety of liquids.
And to change the color of a chameleon printed on indicating paper

They made tiny rockets out of plastic pipettes.

Fueled them with a mix of hydrogen and oxygen,

Put them on a launch pad, pressed the igniter,
and were amazed at the result.
I know at least one went 16 feet 11 inches (516 cm).

Campers learned the elements of producing a program using a new programming language.
They constructed a story by having computer cartoon characters perform according to their programs.

Campers took a look at fiber optics and discovered how they work.

This Lucite block shows some of the magic of total internal reflection that guides the beam through the fibers.

Crossed polarizers and some clear tape illustrate one of the usually hidden properties of light.

 A phosphorescent screen recorded their shadows.

They disassembled cameras to see how they worked.

A pair of parabolic mirrors put face to face creates an image that looks real enough to pick up.

The kids built pinhole cameras using aluminum pans and tape.
Then loaded them with photographic paper with only darkroom lights for illumination.

Hold the cameras very steady while you open the shutter and close it one second later.

After taking the pictures they developed them (no pictures of that process, Why?)
Here are some of the results.

The top row are the negative images that were produced.
The second row are positives made by inverting the colors to get a more recognizable image.
Some are pictures of trees and a couple of selfies.
And more.
 The first in this set is a picture of someone else's camera as they were taking a picture.

Photographers and their pictures.

The kids learned how the brains ability to convert the slightly different views that each eye has to 3D is the same process that they could use to measure the distance to things that they couldn't reach.
The process works from measuring the height of a building to the distance to stars that are 100 light years away (5.88x1014 miles, 9.46x1014 km).
Here they are using anaglyph glasses to see pictures of themselves and others at camp in 3D.
If you can find some red/cyan or red/green glasses do a Google image search for anaglyph to see some of the ways that they are used.

The campers built devices that would let them measure the angle from where they were standing to the top of a tree or building.

Measuring the angle to a point that is higher than we could reach.

With that and the distance to the bottom they could calculate its height.

Here are what you need to make a device to repeat what the kids did.
Click on the first image of the front of the elevation quadrant to get a larger version, print it out and assemble it according to the instructions printed on it.
Fasten a string to the center of the circle at the point where the lines on the quadrant converge.
Add a weight to the end of the string (we used a washer but any small weight will work).
The pictures of the kids using them will show how it is built.
Click on the second image and print it out.  You may have to scale it to fit on the back of the quadrant.
Collect the data and compute the height according to the instructions.
Measuring the angle is easiest if one person sights on the target and another takes the reading.

Front of the elevation quadrant
Back of the Quadrant
Data sheet

The university's cafeteria has a varied selection with something for everyone.

These kids were campers in years past and have returned to assist with this year's classes.

Campers spent some of their time between the contests trying puzzles like the Eight Queens Problem, Tangrams, and the game of Nim.

Teams competed in contests designed to test their science, engineering and cooperative skills.
In this test one member of the team has to negotiate a maze that they can't see using only the instructions given by their teammates. 

Use a piece of aluminum foil to build a boat.
Success is judged by how many marbles it will hold before it sinks.

Build a bridge using paper and hot melt glue.
Test it.
This one didn't really hold all the weights.

An engineering challenge.
Using a limited amount of spaghetti, tape, and string make the tallest tower that will support a marshmallow.

Build a paper airplane that is judged by how far it travels after making a left turn.

Using only the letter combinations found on the periodic table make as many words as you can in 10 minutes.

The data sheet shows some of the possibilities one team came up with.

Build the highest self supporting tower possible using a a couple of pieces of paper and  a little tape.

Each of the round containers has a shape or barriers inside and a few BBs that are free to rattle around..
This team is trying to figure out what shape is in their container.

Who Wants to Win $1,000,000 is game show with science questions created by Jefferson Lab.
Click here if you want to play but come back here to see more about our camp.

The water balloon slingshot was a ballistics problem.
Points were awarded for hitting or coming close to the target.
Our photographer managed to catch a shot of the spray as one of the balloons burst on the way to the target.
One of the campers seems to  have caught the spray as well.

Each camper was given the specifications for a bridge that they were to build at home.
It was to be made with one pound or less of standard spaghetti and any kind of glue.
It had to span 16 inches, be at least 4 inches wide and able to support a 2 by 2 inch block that was the stand-in for a vehicle crossing it.
Here are some of the designs.

Each bridge was positioned just so then loaded  by hanging a bucket  that was slowly filled with sand until the bridge failed.

Some sagged slowly others gave way all at once.
I like the variety of expressions as the campers watch as their bridges are tested and after the they collapsed.

We found that by putting our fingers on the frame of the testing apparatus we could feel a ping as each strand of spaghetti broke.

Her bridge broke (she knew it would) but it held a lot so she is happy.


The Winners
When the contests were over prizes were awarded.
Congratulations to all the winners.

A surprise
This was Dr. Arts 20th year heading up the Science and Math Camp so the dean came over and brought a cake to celebrate.

Field trip
This year's field trip was to the Cincinnati Zoo.

A special Thank You to the helpers who took most of the pictures included on this web page.

And to all the campers I hope you will be back next year.

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E-mail Nancy and Alan

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