Oceanography – Perch Dissection
Our aspiring marine zoologists accomplished a perch dissection today! Perch are a type of bony fish and are fascinating because of many of their organs are analogous to our own (eyes, nose, jaw, bones, heart, stomach, liver, gonads, etc). Campers observed a variety of interesting adaptations unique to the perch, including a swim bladder which is a small, clear gas-filled sac inside the body of the perch which fills with air (or empties) allow the perch to have buoyancy in the water and gonads that take up so much room inside the perch that other structures are displaced!
Ask your camper: Why did the gonads of the fish occupy so much space inside the body of the perch? (fish carry out external fertilization, which requires production of a lot of gametes-hence, larger gonads – to increase the probability that at least some of the gametes become fertilized and turn into offspring, allowing those genes to pass into the next generation)
Makey Lab – Merry-Go-Rounds
The playground engineers of the local school have asked for our help! They lost the plans to all of the new playground equipment and it’s the job of our young engineers to design and build a new merry-go-round. Along the way the campers learned about centripetal force, which is the force needed to make something move in a circle. After building their merry prototypes, the campers tested their designs with differently massed objects.
Ask your camper: What is centripetal force?
Engineering Explorations – Hull Designs
Our engineers worked hard the last two days to create a boat that floats and holds weight with a working propeller. The next step was to design an ideal hull for their boats. First our campers learned about the different hull types and the situations they are best used for. After researching the types and identifying points of failure in each one, our campers went back to the drawing board and revamped their own boats. The campers chose whether to create a hull that focused on speed, holding weight, or a combination of both!
Ask your camper: What are points of failure? Aspects of the design or building that are either additional constraints or are not conducive to the solution