Space & Weather – Hawt Hovercrafts

Space & Weather – Hawt Hovercrafts

Today the space missions continued as our astronauts got ready for the “Ultimate Space Speed Race”  by finishing their hovercraft designs. They then participated in a series of missions/races and were able to explain the choices they made in the shape, size, materials, and layout of their hovercrafts that ultimately affects the efficiency of their designs.

Ask your student: “How do hovercrafts work?” (Hovercrafts are able to float because they create and trap a pressure differential underneath that allows them to levitate.)


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Makey Lab – Water Slides

Makey Lab – Water Slides

It was the final day of playground construction, and what better way to end a hot summer week than by building a water slide! Our campers constructed their very own working water slides. They had to figure out how to waterproof the materials, ensure the slide was tall enough, and make sure all the water didn’t spill off the sides. To test them, they used little plastic animals to go down the slides by pouring water at varying speeds. The campers were successful and the little animals had a blast too!

Ask your camper: How did you waterproof your slide? Maybe they used foil, plastic wrap, wax paper, or plastic cups


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Oceanography – Video Stories

Oceanography – Video Stories

Throughout the week, campers examined an array of tiny/planktonic aquatic organisms and were challenged to create a video story to document their experiences along they way.  Today, our oceanographers had an opportunity to re-examine any of the living organisms they investigated throughout the week as independent exploration time! This gave them an opportunity to re-test, re-record, and re-take any images/videos needed to develop/fine-tune their video story. Volunteers shared their video-documentation in a share-a-thon at the end of the activities.

Ask your camper: What did you chose to explore today? (answers vary by camper)


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Oceanography – A Model Jellyfish

Oceanography – A Model Jellyfish

Jellyfish are beautiful and mysterious ocean creatures. They have no bones, no brain, no heart, and no eyes. They have clear, bag-like bodies that contain their digestive organs and have trailing tentacles that are used to sting and capture prey. About 50% of all jellyfish are bioluminescent. Our biological modeling engineers created bioluminescent jellyfish models (to bring home) and that actually glow in the dark! They were challenged to make their models anatomically correct, but to use their own creativity along the way.

Ask your camper: Why do jellyfish use bioluminescence? (as a defense mechanism to evade predation)

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Space & Weather – Potable Water Pods

Space & Weather – Potable Water Pods

The microgravity environment of outer space can have a weird effect on how substances and alter how they “normally” behave here on Earth… Today our scientists were able to explore more about the cohesive properties of water. They also made (and ate!) edible water pods to help model the look of water in a microgravity environment.

Ask your camper: What is cohesion? How many drops of water were they able to get on their pennies?

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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?

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