Thank you to all of our Volunteers in Belleville!

Thank you to all of our Volunteers in Belleville!

Many of the MetroEast (Belleville) volunteers return year after year.  They look forward to making new friends and strengthening their leadership skills, all while instilling a passion for math and science in young people.  These volunteers work long hours and are very responsible, well organized, and willing to take on additional tasks.

Our volunteer group leaders play an essential role in the delivery of I.M.S.A. enrichment programs.  They provide support and assistance to the classroom instructors who deliver the lessons. Group leaders provide a learning environment whereby participants can take risks while exploring new subject matter in a “learn-by-doing” manner.  They also supervise and interact with participants during free time and are ultimately responsible for their whereabouts.

These individuals have a vested interest in assisting students, ensuring that they have a successful experience in our summer program. We cannot thank them enough for their hard work!

C.S.IMSA Belleville – Thursday: Drops to DNA Part 1

C.S.IMSA Belleville – Thursday: Drops to DNA Part 1

Today our CSI technicians began what will be a two day process to extract DNA from a broken vase found at the crime scene. In order to prepare themselves to discover what should be the most convincing piece of evidence, students learned about the extraction process by using their own DNA!

After their training, investigators are ready to process the last piece of evidence tomorrow!

Ask your student:

What was one substance you used in the extraction of your own DNA? (Gatorade, soap, meat tenderizer, alcohol)

C.S.IMSA Belleville – Wednesday: Tie Dyes

C.S.IMSA Belleville – Wednesday: Tie Dyes

The crime scene team began analyzing a promising new lead today by testing oil samples found on the driveway at the crime scene and comparing them with oil samples from suspects’ driveways. Students discovered the uses for the science of chromatography by watching how different colors separate, and using that information to match the crime scene oil with a likely culprit.

Our forensic scientists are developing a clearer picture of the case, and feel close to a breakthrough!

Ask your student:

What is chromatography used for? (separating materials)

What new information did you learn from your evidence analysis today?

C.S.IMSA Belleville – Tuesday: Lift a Finger

C.S.IMSA Belleville – Tuesday: Lift a Finger

Our CSI team is well on its way to cracking the case! Today, the scientists-in-training delved into the study of fingerprints. They first fingerprinted themselves in order to learn about the different recognizable fingerprint patterns. Students then examined the fingerprint evidence collected from the crime scene and attempted to match it with prints collected later from suspects.

Our investigators have had a busy two days, but there is more forensic science to be done before the culprit can be apprehended!

Ask your student:

What are the three characteristic fingerprint patterns? (loops, whorls, and arches)

After two days, do you have any theories about the case?

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CSIMSA Belleville – Monday: Observation 101

CSIMSA Belleville – 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?

C.S.IMSA – Drops to DNA Part 2

C.S.IMSA – Drops to DNA Part 2

The case has been cracked! Our junior forensic scientists worked in the lab today in order to extract DNA from the pieces of a broken vase that were found at the crime scene. After analyzing the evidence and comparing it to the DNA samples from several key suspects, the CSI team has identified the culprit!

Students concluded the week with a successfully cracked case, and experience with real CSI science!

Ask your student:

Were your suspicions from earlier in the week correct? If not, what evidence changed them?

What’s Up with Water? – World Water Day Site

What’s Up with Water? – World Water Day Site

Our future UN representatives successfully completed their “World Water Day” site projects and presented them to their fellow country representatives. Their ideas were great, and seeing them grow as problem-solvers and innovators throughout this week has been amazing! In just one week, they were able to research, develop, and then present plans that could save countless lives and provide our world with more resources than we thought imaginable.

Check out the link to our “World Water Day” page and take a look at some of the wonderful projects the students put together this week!!!

https://sites.google.com/site/worldwatertest/

What’s Up with Water? – Sink or Float

What’s Up with Water? – Sink or Float

What floats and what doesn’t? What if it’s saltwater, or freshwater? Inquiry and imagination lead our “water-ful” scholars today as they set out to answer these questions. Students worked together to come up with rules on floating items in water, then tested their hypotheses using common household items like straws, corks, and bottle caps.

The students quickly began to notice the effect of density, but still had questions. One student asked, “How are boats able to stay afloat if they’re so heavy?” Their observatory skills were put to the test and they stood up to the challenge!

 

C.S.IMSA Chicago – Tie Dyes

C.S.IMSA Chicago – Tie Dyes

The crime scene team began analyzing a promising new lead today by testing oil samples found on the driveway at the crime scene and comparing them with oil samples from suspects’ driveways. Students discovered the uses for the science of chromatography by watching how different colors separate, and using that information to match the crime scene oil with a likely culprit.

Our forensic scientists are developing a clearer picture of the case, and feel close to a breakthrough!

Ask your student:

What is chromatography used for? (separating materials)

What new information did you learn from your evidence analysis today?

What’s Up with Water? – Solubility

What’s Up with Water? – Solubility

Throughout the week, our newfound water enthusiasts have conducted various experiments to help them gain a better understanding of the unique properties of water. Today, they learned the difference between a physical and chemical change.

Students collected data for the heating curve of a solution and later compared their results to the heating curve of pure water. The knowledge they have accumulated has already become applicable to their exploration of solutions to global water issues.  “I never realized so many things naturally reacted with one another,” one student mentioned. We can’t wait to see what they come up with next!