Space & Weather – Aerospace Engineering
The importance of a spacesuit cannot be understated as they literally keep astronauts alive in the extreme conditions of outer space where the cosmic background temperature is -270.45°C (-455°F) but depending on where you are in relation to the Sun, temperatures can also get as high as thousands or millions of degrees! To kick off the week, our aerospace engineers were tasked with exploring the concepts of heat transfer and insulation in order to better understand the types of materials choices they should make to design the most protective space suit possible!
Ask your camper: What is the difference between heat radiation and heat conduction? (Heat radiation is the transfer of heat through the emission of electromagnetic waves and heat conduction is the transfer of heat through physical contact.)
Aurora Program Pictures
Belleville Program Pictures
Innovation Through the Ages – Day 1
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 their hand at the ancient process on chicken legs!
Ask your students what is needed to make a proper mummification mixture!
Vital Signs – New Glasses
During the first day of bioengineering activities, our campers created glasses! They first made observations on the differences between convex and concave lenses, and how each helped with seeing close or far distances. Glasses can have one or both types of lenses depending on the sight issue of the person, such as near-sightedness and far-sightedness. To test how the lenses acted together, the campers experimented with different magnifications and lens types to try and see down to the smallest line of an official eye chart.
Ask your camper: What is the difference in shape between a convex and concave lens, and which lens combination worked best to see the smallest line of the eye chart? A convex lens bulges out, while a concave lens curve in, like a cave. One of each lens created the most ideal combination.
Oceanography – Deep Ocean
What are some important physical aspects of the ocean? In today’s activities, campers explored ocean chemistry and physics. They explored ocean chemistry by setting up a week-long experiment to investigate the effect of pH on shells. Since many organisms in the ocean depend on a shell as their primary home/protection it’s difficult for them to build and maintain a shell when ocean pH is dropping – aka ocean acidification is happening. They were also introduced to physics by modeling how light penetrates the ocean depths. Our budding Oceanographers created a model of the ocean that illustrates how certain wavelengths of light only reach so far down.
Ask your camper: What color (wavelength) of light reaches the furthest depths of the ocean (blue).
Makey Lab – Playground Engineers
It’s day one for our playground engineers! This week, our campers will create five different pieces of playground equipment. Today, they designed and built a seesaw. A seesaw is a lever, and the goal for our campers was to build a see saw that was perfectly balanced with two masses, one on each end, with a pivot point in the middle. The most difficult part of the process was designing that pivot point to allow the seesaw to easily tilt back and forth.
Ask your camper: What is the technical term for the pivot point? Fulcrum