A Scientist’s Dream
Camp Elachee 2019: Week 7, July 8-12
Mad Science Mayhem week at Camp Elachee 2019 started out with a BANG! Literally.
Campers REALLY got into the science this week! It started right off the bat as campers gathered at Monday morning assembly to watch a bottle rocket launch. This blew everyone’s mind! Then to help group members get to know one another and to break the ice, campers embarked on a science and engineering project. They used their creative energies to build a group rocket out of plates and cups. Campers tried to build the tallest rocket they could manage, taking this activity to incredible heights.
Throughout the week campers were inundated with ‘WOW’ moments from all the fun experiments they witnessed and in which they participated. They participated in over a dozen experimentsand projects from Rain in a Bottle, Fizzy Ice Chalk and making Crystals to invisible art, test tube and rain cloud crafts.
Let’s give a round of applause to SLIME. It’s probably no surprise to parents that their children loved the slime-making experiments. Did you know there are so many ways to make slime? Each group picked their own version. Campers then compared how the different groups’ slimes varied based on the recipe. While all slimes are not created equal, this week there was no clear winner in the Which Slime is the Best contest.
An important ‘a ha’ moment occurred when campers came to the realization that not all science is about creating something. Sometimes science breaks things down. Campers experimented with ways certain substances can dissolve matter. One day-long experiment involved seashells. Campers put seashells in vinegar to witness how calcium in the shells dissolves. In between other camp activities, they checked on their seashells to observe how the shell composition changed.
Giant bubbles were a thing this week – another way our campers really got INTO science as ‘human bubbles.’ Imagine Willy Wonka takes on Camp Elachee. These iridescent structures were so big campers were INSIDE the bubbles! The ‘best bubble’ was judged by its height. Factors that went into success or failure of this experiment were the wind (uncontrollable), the steadiness of Ms. Tori’s hand in creating the bubble and the wiggly-ness of the camper inside the bubble. Campers learned quickly to stay very still to maintain the integrity of the bubble.
Even creek time became a scientist’s dream this week! Elachee Senior Naturalist Deb DeRoche taught campers how to test the pH of creek water and why a neutral pH is healthiest for our water ways. (Hint: the most variety of life in our water system can survive at a neutral pH). While talking about the other factors that create a healthy environment in our water ways, campers also hunted for wildlife in and along the creeks. From salamanders to crawfish to minnows, Elachee’s creeks are teeming with life!
Campers learned that science can also be TASTY, as they made butter and ice cream. This took a lot of work and patience, but the pay-off in the end was worth it resulting in lots of smiles and happy bellies. And we can’t forget the Gummy Bear experiments! Camp groups learned about absorption by placing gummy bears in saltwater, sugar water or plain water (as a control). After the bears had a chance to absorb the water, campers taste tested each kind to see how each type of water affected the taste.
Perhaps this foray into mad science will carry over into the school year for your camper!
Read Highlight BLOGS from previous Camp Elachee 2019 adventures.
Camp Week 1: Water Week Ready for Summer Fun
Camp Week 2: Wonderful Wilderness
Camp Week 3: Habitat Haven Home Sweet Home
Camp Week 4: Space Week Out of this World Adventures
Camp Week 5: Wet and Wild Wet, Wetter, Wettest
Camp Week 6: Camp Elachee Explorers