Innovation Through the Ages – Day 4

Innovation Through the Ages – Day 4

Today in Innovation Through the Ages…….students tested the power and accuracy of their siege machines but launching a projectile at the designated target! They then reviewed the history of rocketry and propulsion, rocket design and function, and chemical reactions. After, students designed and built vinegar and baking soda-powered rockets! Launch was delayed due to weather, but mission control has cleared a launch time for Friday morning!  They also learned about the development of the printing press, and created drawings inspired by their notes and observations during the week. Then they transferred their drawings onto Styrofoam plates and created prints.

Ask your student how vinegar and baking-soda can power a rocket!

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Vital Signs – Titrations

Vital Signs – Titrations

Antacids are often used to treat heartburn. When acidic stomach content comes back up the esophagus heartburn patients experience a burning sensation behind the breastbone. Our biochemist campers used titrations to find the appropriate amount of base to neutralize the acid. Their job was to change the pH from 1 to 7 (neutral), by adding the base. At the end of the activity, campers took the calculated amount of base (antacid), put it into a capsule that allows for diffusion, and set it into the acid (represents heartburn). On Friday they will check the results to see if the acid was neutralized!

Ask your camper: If we start with 10mL of the acid, hydrochloric acid, how many mL of the base, sodium hydroxide, so we need to add to reach a pH of 7? The same amount – 10mL! The acid and base are the same concentration, and at opposite ends of the pH scale. 


This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Oceanography – Submarine Challenge

Oceanography – Submarine Challenge

Today the students started wrapping up their submarine designs. Submarines are a special vehicle that can be submerged and operated under water. Submarines must operate in agreement with natural laws like Archimedes’ Principle and natural forces like gravity, the buoyant force, and water pressure. Typically, a submarine has compartments that facilitate how it maneuvers (up or down) the depths of the ocean. A ballast tank is a compartment that holds air and water. The submarine pumps water and air in and out of its ballast tanks to manipulate its mass and therefore, its density. Different proportions of air and water help it rise or sink in the ocean based on the density of the entire vehicle.

Ask your camper: How did you design your submarine so that it could maneuver up and down in the water?

This slideshow requires JavaScript.



Space & Weather – Hawt Hovercrafts

Space & Weather – Hawt Hovercrafts

Our aerospace engineers have designed suitable space gear to weather the extreme conditions of space, they have designed nifty compasses and telescopes to help them navigate their way around the galaxy, and today they were challenged with figuring out how to create a vehicle (specifically a hovercraft!) that can help them travel around and explore other planets. Through our study of Newton’s 3 Laws of Motion, students are better able to anticipate/predict what their hovercraft’s movements will be like in outer space, since the laws of physics apply for the entire universe and not only here on Earth!

Ask your camper: What is Newton’s 3rd Law of Motion? (For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction.)

Aurora Program Pictures

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Belleville Program Pictures

This slideshow requires JavaScript.


Makey Lab – Roller Coasters

Makey Lab – Roller Coasters 

Bring on the twists and turns! After successfully saving the fairytale world from the disasters earlier in the week, our campers were tasked with designing something fun and exciting for the elves and fairies – a roller coaster! The campers experimented with the different materials and found their perfect heights for the hills and loops. They are all prepared to build and test their coasters tomorrow/.

Ask your camper: Did the balls roll down the tubing faster when the tubing was held more or less steep? Why?

This slideshow requires JavaScript.