Vital Signs – Prosthetics

Vital Signs – Prosthetics

Prosthetics are fake body parts that replace broken or missing ones in humans or animals. They can be made out of different materials and have different types of technology to move or to sense. One of the most complex parts of a prosthesis is the joint—how can it be engineered at the right place and to bend the right way to help someone in daily life? Our bioengineers created their own prosthetic fingers using the ratio of one of their own fingers to scale it to size. But fingers have no muscles—they are powered with tendons connected to arm and wrist muscles. The joints work with tendons to bend the finger. The campers had to create two separate “tendons” in order for the fingers to be able to move.

Ask your camper: Which two tendons allow our fingers to move, and what movement is each tendon in charge of? Flexor, curls fingers. Extensor, straightens fingers

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Space & Weather – Space Blast!

Space & Weather – Space Blast!

What happens to an object when you compress the air around it? Campers explored Boyle’s Law – (a chemistry law which explains the relationship between volume and pressure) – in order to help save a group of friendly little aliens who appear to be sensitive to changes in atmospheric pressure… Our new squishy alien friends were facing a grave danger when some other, meaner stick aliens kept trying to capture them! Campers used their knowledge of Boyle’s Law and a special tool – the Alien Relocation Device (ARD) – to launch our new alien friends to safety! 

Ask your camper: What is a term to describe the relationship between volume and pressure? (inverse)

Aurora Program Pictures

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Belleville Program Pictures

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Innovation Through the Ages – Day 5

Innovation Through the Ages – Day 5

Today in Innovation Through the Ages…….Huston we have lift-off! The students were clear to launch their bottle rockets this morning! Students studied Leonardo Da Vinci’s 3D shapes and other 3D innovations and then created a collaborative 3D form –a dodecahedron – made by the entire group. In Engineering, student groups each decided on an innovation that they believe contributed the most to humanity, they researched its history, designed and built a model of it, and created a brief power point detailing the history of the innovation and their process. Each group then had a turn presenting to the class.  

Ask your student what a dodecahedron is (a three-dimensional shape having twelve plane faces, in particular a regular solid figure with twelve equal pentagonal faces).

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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!

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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. 

 

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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

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Belleville Program Pictures

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Vital Signs – Breaks/Sprains/Strains

Vital Signs – Breaks/Sprains/Strains

Common summertime injuries that can happen to kids while they’re playing outside on play sets, running up hills, falling off bikes… Today our doctors dove into the study of orthopedics and learned how to identify and treat various types of fractures as well as muscular strains and sprains. Students got to practice wrapping each other’s ankles and/or wrists in a comfortable and supportive manner such that it effectively immobilized the limb to allow it the chance to recover. They then had to learn how to identify and model different types of fractures that can occur in the bone, including transverse, butterfly and spiral breaks.

Ask your camper: What is the difference between a sprain and a strain?  (A sprain is when a ligament has been badly damaged or torn and a strain is when a tendon or muscle has been damaged or torn.)

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Space & Weather – Convection Currents

Space & Weather – Convection Currents

Up, up, and away!! Yesterday, our meteorologists were able to study the movement of convection currents in water – (and how those can end up resulting in hurricanes…!) – and today we shifted our attention to seeing how convection currents behave in the atmosphere by designing colorful tissue paper hot air balloons! Students worked in groups to figure out the optimal hot air balloon shape, size & design and then they harnessed the power of air convection currents to send their creations into the air.

Ask your camper: Why is it that hot air rises and cool air sinks? (Hot air rises because it is less dense, which allows it to “float” above the cooler air.)

Aurora Program Pictures

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Belleville Program Pictures

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Innovation Through the Ages – Day 3

Innovation Through the Ages – Day 3

Today in Innovation Through the Ages…..students began their exploration of the science of light and photography by making their own camera obscura out of paper. They also tested their own ability to see color and tried some color-correcting glasses to see if they improved their color vision, and then split light into its color parts using prisms and lenses!

In Engineering, students were challenged to research, design, build, test, and present a siege machine— a device that is designed to break or circumvent heavy castle doors, thick city walls or other fortifications in siege warfare. Our students came up with some fantastic designs, some that actually worked!

Ask your student to define/explain a camera obscura (a dark box (or even a very dark room) with a very small hole in one wall that lets in light. Directly across from the hole the image from the outside world will be projected onto the wall upside down)

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Vital Signs – Sheep Heart Dissection

Vital Signs – Sheep Heart Dissection

What organ comes to mind when you hear the phrase “vital signs”? A most likely candidate is the heart! There are only a few differences between sheep hearts and human hearts (size and relative location of major vessels) so studying the sheep heart helps our budding cardiologists learn more about the human heart! Campers explored heart anatomy by dissecting a sheep heart and used the heart to identify the circulation of blood throughout the body/to and from the heart.

Ask your camper: Which chamber of the heart receives deoxygenated blood from the body? (right atrium)

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