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Friday, July 29, 2011

Beaker Bash Science Camp - Week 3 in Review

It's hard to believe that 3 weeks of science camp have come and gone.  What a great time we've had!  This week we wrapped up our learning with some investigations of force and motion, UV light and properties that make things glow or change color, bubbles, and density.
Here are the highlights:
  1. We used nature paper to create shadow art and made bracelets with beads that change color in the sun. 
  2. We experimented with glow powder and atomic glow under a black light and compared the results to placing those materials in the sun light.
  3. We had a potato gun fight and learned about Newton's 3rd law of motion - "For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction."
  4. We simulated an oil spill in an "ocean" and students tested a variety of materials to be used for clean up.  Student suggestions were dish soap, baking soda, and the dehydrated gel powder that we had experimented with last week.  Then we tried out the oil absorbing polymer and sea sweep.  If you don't know what sea sweep is, it is worth looking up.  I'm not going to tell you so you'll have to do your homework.  I had about 8 packets of it in a cupboard and had no idea what it was for until recently.
  5. Our last day was a huge hit with every student making their very own Mentos geyser.  Mint mentos really do work better.  Caffeine free diet coke gave us our best result.  Shaking the 2 liter before opening is not a good idea because you lose a lot of your carbonation fuel before adding the mentos.  Some of the kiddos found that out the hard way.  On the last day we also experimented with variations of bubble solutions, designed tools from K'nex that allowed us to blow square bubbles, and bounced bubbles on our hand.  (Tip: doing this indoors is ok but you may want to get a painters cloth that has a plastic backing.  I got one at Wal-mart for about $5.00 and it was a great place to spread out and sit, plus it made clean-up really easy.)  We also found out that some bowling balls will actually float.  Who knew?! 

If you've been following along, reading my blog, viewing the videos and looking at the pictures then you have a pretty good idea of just how much we packed into 12 mornings of camp.  While we had just under 10 participants this year, the quality of time spent was outstanding and I think it was well worth every minute.  Hopefully we inspired these kids to keep asking questions about the world around them.

I want to give a public thank you to Andrea, Deborah, and Angela for coming out to help with camp.  Having other teachers to share in this experience was invaluable! 

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