Micro STEM @ Aurora – Friday: Homemade Batteries

Micro STEM @ Aurora – Friday: Homemade Batteries

On our final day of Micro STEM, the campers made their own batteries! First campers made a hand battery. The hand battery works with a piece of aluminum and a copper sheet, which are conductors. They used their own body’s electric charge by placing a hand on each of the plates, then measured the electrical output with a multi-meter.

Ask your student:

What materials did you use for the aluminum air battery? Aluminum foil, paper towel, salt water, and activated charcoal.

 

 

Micro STEM @ Aurora – Thursday: Magnifying Investigations

Micro STEM @ Aurora – Thursday: Magnifying Investigations

Today, the investigation of different kinds of magnifying devices continued. Students got the chance to go outside and collect various samples of their choice. After collection, the samples were brought inside to be analyzed with a compound light microscope. Students also reviewed the various parts of a compound microscope, and the importance of each part in the function of the microscope as a whole.

Ask your student:

What similarities and differences did you notice when you were using the different tools for magnification (MicroPhone lens, hand lens, compound light microscope, and stereoscope)?

Vital Signs @ Springfield – Friday: Prosthetics

Vital Signs @ Springfield – Friday: Prosthetics

Today, our campers developed prosthetic fingers through the use of their own engineering creativity. Our bold inventors have created their own artificial fingers to scale to fit their own hands, including mechanisms to both bend and unbend the finger at all of the joints. Throughout the week, students have been exploring bio-engineering which has allowed them to become experts at analyzing design solutions and repeatedly testing them in order to determine the best way to improve the product.

Ask your student:

Which tendons are responsible for bending and straightening the fingers? (Flexor and extensor tendons)

Vital Signs @ Springfield – Thursday: The Blood Part 1

Vital Signs @ Springfield – Thursday: The Blood Part 1

Today, our scientists delved into the study of blood type and the genetics that help determine it. Students first discovered the physical basis behind the ABO blood type group, analyzing different antigens. In the lab, they attempted to determine the blood type of different samples by creating antibody reactions.

The analysts-in-training also learned the basics of Mendelian genetics, discovering how blood type traits are inherited and why some are dominant over others.

Ask your student:

How many total possibilities are there for blood type? (there are 8 including both genes: A+/-, B+/-, AB+/-, and O+/-)

What is one method to predict the blood type of the offspring when you know that of the parents? (use a Punnett square)

Vital Signs @ Springfield – Wednesday: A (Simulated) Urinalysis

Vital Signs @ Springfield – Wednesday: A (Simulated) Urinalysis

Today, our junior medical practitioners were put to work in the lab! Our campers learned that many different diseases can be diagnosed based on the pH of urine.  Using (simulated) urine, they tested the pH levels of various samples and then handed out diagnoses based on the results. Our fledgling scientists will continue to use their rapidly developing medical skills in the days to come!

Ask your camper: What diseases are possible if a urine sample is a pH of 3.0?

Micro STEM @ Aurora– Tuesday: Applied Circuitry

Micro STEM @ Aurora – Tuesday: Applied Circuitry

Today, the campers continued working on their hand fans! Now that their main design had been sketched and the handle and main body was build, the budding electrical engineers could start with the circuitry and wiring. Using a small motor, a battery pack, and lots of wires, the campers finally got the head of the fan to move! We can’t wait to see their final projects tomorrow once they add lights and complete the design.

Vital Signs @ Springfield- Tuesday: Sheep Heart Dissection

Vital Signs @ Springfield- Tuesday: Sheep Heart Dissection

Day 2 is over, and our daring dissectors have had an in-depth look at the workings of every mammal’s most important organ: the heart! During their exploration, students continued to recognize the relationship between structure and function that is present everywhere in biological structures. One student commented, “Every piece of the organ has a specific job, and everything is efficient!”

The scientists-in-training will continue to explore this connection between structure and function as the week goes on!

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Vital Signs @ Springfield – Monday: Glasses Galore

Vital Signs @ Springfield – Monday: Glasses Galore

On the first day of a jam-packed week, students delved into bio engineering, specifically creating glasses! Our budding engineers explored the different types of lenses and their ability to magnify and minimize objects from various distances. The campers combined different strengths of lenses to enhance their vision and read ultra-fine print from 6 and 8 feet away.

Ask your student:

Do eyeballs have convex or concave lenses? (convex)

Vital Signs @ Belleville – Friday: Prosthetics

Vital Signs @ Belleville – Friday: Prosthetics

Today, our campers developed prosthetic fingers through the use of their own engineering creativity. Our bold inventors have created their own artificial fingers to scale to fit their own hands, including mechanisms to both bend and unbend the finger at all of the joints. Throughout the week, students have been exploring bio-engineering which has allowed them to become experts at analyzing design solutions and repeatedly testing them in order to determine the best way to improve the product.

Ask your student:

Which tendons are responsible for bending and straightening the fingers? (Flexor and extensor tendons)

IMG_2445IMG_2443IMG_2371

MicroSTEM Monday – @Aurora

Micro STEM @ Aurora – Monday: Bacteria Among Us

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Students began a two day project today, investigating bacteria that surrounds us. Each student will test their own fingers, and each group of 4 students could pick up to 8 different surfaces to see what kinds of bacteria live there. Alternatively, the students could choose to see what happened to the bacteria from the same surface with some sort of treatment (applying hand sanitizer, soap, etc.). Students were given the chance to make a hypothesis about what they expect to see on their plates. Later on this week, the students will use a microscope to look at the results of their samples, and test their hypotheses.

Ask your student:

If bacteria surrounds us, why don’t we get sick more often? (Not all bacteria are pathogenic (disease causing))

What are some examples of places where good bacteria are found? (Almost anywhere has some amount of good bacteria, some examples would be in our intestines and mouth)