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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Oceanography – Microorganisms

Oceanography – Microorganisms

NOAA needs our team of oceanographers to investigate how temperature affects plankton physiology – ocean temps are on the rise, after all! Plankton play an important role in all water ecosystems, especially being a food source for many larger animals. If rising temperatures affect plankton adversely, we may need to anticipate a lot of trickle-down effects on the organisms that depend on them as a food source. Daphnia, commonly called water fleas, were studied today when our aspiring oceanographers turned their camera phones into microscopes in order to observe plankton physiology (such as heart rate, or abdominal pulses of the Daphnia). Yesterday they collected baseline physiology data (room temperature) and today they repeated their experiments using ice water and/or warmed water.

Ask your camper: How did the ice affect the physiology of Daphnia? (colder temperatures resulted in decreased heart rates). What about the warmer temps? (warmer temps resulted in increased heart rates and sometimes death)

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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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Makey Lab – Morse Messages

Makey Lab – Morse Messages

Wireless communication is something that we use every day. But years ago, Morse Code was used to send messages. This form of communication was based on a series of dots and dashes that stood for individual letters and numbers which were sent by telegraph on radio channels. It was sent by whistle, buzzer, tapping, flags and many other ways! Using a buzzer  and a button switch, campers recreated the original Morse code and sent each other secret messages to decipher. 

Ask your camper: When listening to a sound code, how can you tell when a new word is starting? There are four seconds of silence between each word

 

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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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Oceanography – Squid Dissection

Oceanography – Squid Dissection

Today the young biologists dissected another creature from the depths of the sea – a squid! Squid are unique molluscs for a variety of reasons. They have an internal shell called a pen that evolved to support their streamlined body plan, allowing faster swimming speeds. Squid are fantastic simmers that move via jet propulsion; they take in water into their mantle and then expel it forcefully through their siphone. Some squid can reach 20 mph! Interestingly, squid have three hearts, allowing them to pump blood and deliver oxygen as quickly as humans do.

Ask your camper: Squid are invertebrates – what does that mean?

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Innovation Through the Ages – Day 2

Innovation Through the Ages – Day 2

Today in Innovation Through the Ages, students explored the innovation of aqueducts and how they helped transform the Roman Empire. Then, students were challenged to engineer and construct their own aqueduct that had to function and deliver water from point “a” (the bottle) to the inhabitants of “Aqueductis” at point “c.”

In art and design, students explored the principle of proportion as it relates to da Vinci’s Vitruvian Man. They then measured distances on their own body to see how their proportions measured up. They also examined the Fibonacci sequence and explored where this code is embedded in nature, from the bracts of a pinecone to the scales of a pineapple.

Ask your students the purpose of the arcade element in an aqueduct!

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Space & Weather – Compass Creations

Space & Weather – Compass Creations

Our young Aerospace Engineers continued their explorations of magnetism and magnetic fields in order to create an “out of this world” navigational compass. Magnetic compasses work well here on Earth since there is a natural magnetic field but do other planets have magnetic fields too? How do different magnets respond to different magnetic fields? Campers discovered how magnetism relates to navigational compasses in order to design and build one that could work on another planet!

Ask your camper: Which planet in the solar system has the strongest magnetic field? (Jupiter)

Aurora Program Pictures

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Belleville Program Pictures

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Makey Lab – Toy Creations

Makey Lab – Toy Creations

Inventing takes time, and our toy creators are on day two of making the final plans for their toy before building begins tomorrow. Today the toy inventors found out the materials they will have to work with, and they redesigned their toys accordingly. Engineers and inventors have materials restrictions, so it is important to learn to work having those restraints. What will the final toys look like? Stay tuned!

Ask your camper: After finding out what materials were available, how did your toy design change?

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