Vital Signs @ Belle Valley & IMSA – Friday: Prosthetics

Vital Signs @ Belle Valley & IMSA – Friday: Prosthetics

Today, our campers developed prosthetic fingers through the use of their own engineering creativity. Our bold inventors have created their own artificial fingers to scale to fit their own hands, including mechanisms to both bend and unbend the finger at all of the joints. Throughout the week, students have been exploring bio-engineering which has allowed them to become experts at analyzing design solutions and repeatedly testing them in order to determine the best way to improve the product.

Ask your student:

Which tendons are responsible for bending and straightening the fingers? (Flexor and extensor tendons)

Belle Valley Pictures:

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Aurora Pictures:

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Extreme Math & Science Friday: Foraging

Extreme Math & Science Friday: Foraging

Today in Extreme Math and Science, the students created a fitness modeling using excel, dice, and a dragonfly model. The students played a game simulating the life of a dragonfly and made decisions about foraging, mates and risk.  Based on their findings, the students then analyzed any errors they may have made and whether those errors were statistically significant.

Ask your student: What is foraging? (Foraging is searching for wild food resources. It affects an animal’s fitness because it plays an important role in an animal’s ability to survive and reproduce.)

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Engineering Explorations @ Aurora IMSA – Friday: Rube Goldberg Competition

Engineering Explorations @ Aurora IMSA – Friday: Rube Goldberg Competition

Today students finished their Rube Goldberg machines, and took turns demonstrating them to the rest of the class! Using the Rube Rubric, each team was evaluated for the competition, and had the opportunity to observe all the different machines that were made.

Ask your student:

How well did your Rube Goldberg machine perform?

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CSImsa @ Belle Valley – Friday: Drops to DNA Part 2

CSImsa @ Belle Valley – Friday: Drops to DNA Part 2

The case has been cracked! Our junior forensic scientists worked in the lab today in order to extract DNA from the pieces of a broken vase that were found at the crime scene. After analyzing the evidence and comparing it to the DNA samples from several key suspects, the CSI team has identified the culprit!

Students concluded the week with a successfully cracked case, and experience with real CSI science!

Ask your student:

Were your suspicions from earlier in the week correct? If not, what evidence changed them?

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BioSleuths @ Belle Valley – Friday: Forensic Entomology

BioSleuths @ Belle Valley – Friday: Forensic Entomology

Today, students continued their study of forensic entomology: the use of knowledge of insects to help solve criminal investigations. Our junior investigators learned how forensic entomologists use the life cycle of maggot-laying flies in order to determine the exact time of death of a victim. In order to observe the life cycle in action, students examined their canned chicken samples from Monday.

In addition, the biosleuths used the knowledge they had gained about forensic entomology to solve crime scene situations!

Ask your student:

What exactly are maggots? (fly larva)

How can forensic scientists use maggots to estimate time of death? (life stages of a fly take a known amount of time)

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