This Monday in… Genetics: Nature or Nurture?

This Monday in… Genetics: Nature or Nurture?

Today in Genetics: Nature or Nurture, the students extracted their own DNA with the goal of identifying whether or not their DNA contained the PTC gene. The gene reveals whether or not the campers can taste bitter (PTC) or not! Once the campers had their DNA, they prepared it for a Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) experiment to then amplify the gene and eventually reveal whether or not the gene was present.

Ask your student: What are polytene chromosomes?  (The ‘giant’ chromosomes found in the salivary glands of drosophila larva that are result from several rounds of DNA replication without cell division)

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Innovation Through the Ages – Monday: Mummification

Innovation Through the Ages – Monday: Mummification

Today in Innovation Through the Ages, students made their own perspectograph, a machine invented by Leondardo da Vinci to help artists design a replica of the scene they wanted to paint in proper perspective. The students then took their machines to different points in the building and used them to draw what they were looking at in perspective. Students also learned about mummification and tried there hand at the ancient process on chicken legs!

Ask your students what is needed to make a proper mummification mixture!

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Chemapalooza @ Aurora – Monday: Molecular Gastronomy

Chemapalooza @ Aurora – Monday: Molecular Gastronomy

Today students trained to become a budding chef in an emerging culinary style known as Molecular Gastronomy. Exploring how science and art can mix, students used the scientific principles of Molecular Gastronomy to create visually appealing and texturally unique foods, and explored two foodie experiments. By the end of the lesson, students became quite knowledgeable in the growing field!

Ask your student:

What is the process of thickening a liquid so it doesn’t melt in its new solid form? (Gelification)

What is the process of creating gelified pearls? (Spherification)

Vital Signs @ Belleville – Monday: Glasses Galore

Vital Signs @ Belleville – Monday: Glasses Galore

On the first day of a jam-packed week, students delved into bio engineering, specifically creating glasses! Our budding engineers explored the different types of lenses and their ability to magnify and minimize objects from various distances. The campers combined different strengths of lenses to enhance their vision and read ultra-fine print from 6 and 8 feet away.

Ask your student:

Do eyeballs have convex or concave lenses? (convex)

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BioSleuths @ Belleville – Monday: Soil Life

BioSleuths @ Belleville – Monday: Soil Life

Whether you can see them or not there are many things living in the soil. This is one of the concepts your student learned today. Students set up two experiments today to learn not only about where life comes from but also what kinds of organisms live in the soil. Students worked in groups to prepare their first experiment. They placed pieces of chicken in cans with different coverings; they will come back to these cans later in the week to observe what is new. After this experiment they collected soil samples to learn about all the living things inside of it. Many of the students found worms or other critters while they were on this mission.

These curious biosleuths shined light directly over the Burlese-Tullgren funnel to help them understand what organisms live in the ground. “I think I’m going to find more worms in my soil.” hypothesized one of the sleuthers.

Ask your student:

How did the light help you find organisms in the Burlese-Tullgren funnel set up? (organisms will tend to move away from the light/heat source, which is downward into the alcohol)

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CSIMSA @ Belleville & Aurora– Monday: Observation 101

CSIMSA @ Belleville & Aurora– Monday: Observation 101

The detectives have called in the CSI unit, and our junior forensic scientists are on the case! The investigation is well under way, with students honing their observation skills by spotting hidden objects in various pictures. They also practiced their mastery of memory and recall by seeing a series of objects and attempting to remember what was shown.

Investigators will continue to utilize their observational talent throughout the week as they attempt to solve the case!

Ask your student:

What evidence have you collected so far in the case?

How did you do in your observation and memory skills practice?

Aurora Pictures

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Belleville Pictures

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