Flying Objects and Animals!

IMG_7478 reducedThe red/blue groups got to experience mathematical modeling, physics, and flying objects with Dr. Cindy Jong today. After learning and building, they took their airplanes, copters, and parachutes for testing…many were successful in hitting the bullseye!

The Yellow/Green groups were so excited coming in today after hearing about the animal dissection and display yesterday! Dr. Bryant again shared her passion for animals, helping them, and her love of STEM with the students. She studies why animals die in ordIMG_7423 copy reduceder to help prevent it from happening in the future. They got to see some really cool things – such as round worms, a cancerous cow organ, a horse heart, etc. After that, the students got to do their own exploring and learning about organs by dissecting a pig. Most of them handled the dissection really well; they were excited to use the special tools and explore the different parts!  While learning about the different organs and their functions, they played bingo as well!

Exposing students to dissection and organs is essential these days as dissection is no longer a regular part of the science classroom. Although some students are averse to this information and experience, it is important that they do have an experience and that we are able to produce doctors, veterinarians, and pathologists that continue to make breakthroughs in medicine and disease prevention in both humans and animals.

IMG_7502 reducedDuring lunch, the Mr. Tim Knauer came with his special telescope and the students got to look at the sun. They all thought it was pretty cool…it was a great sunny day to view!

IMG_7435 reducedWe had a special guest at camp today. Secretary Hal Heiner came and visited camp along with Dr. Wayne Lewis and Bridget Papalia from the Kentucky Education & Workforce Development Cabinet. They were very impressed with the students and loved seeing them interact and have fun with hands-on STEM content. Kentucky is really trying to be more innovative and move STEM forward in the state.

In their words…

Red/Blue Groups

What did you learn about today that you did not know before?

  • i learned about velocity on & that it is the speed of something in a certain direction also i learned what acceleration is
  • that violocty is how fast and what direcion its going
  • when you rub a balloon against your hair it takes the electrons away
  • i learned that when air hits a planes wing it splits and goes up and down
  • how to make a proper paper airplane
IMG_7510 reducedWhat did you like about what you learned today?
  • i liked building parrachutes and paper airplanes
  • the physics all of it
  • i liked it because we got to experiment with paper airplanes, ballons, and parachutes
  • everything because today = fun
  • i liked that we got to make our own parachutes and drop them
Would you like to learn more about this topic?  Why or why not?
  • yes because I am interested in flying
  • i would like to learn more about earodynamics because I enjoy building parrachutes
  • yes. i love physics
  • yes. i would like to know more paper airplanes to make

IMG_7446 reducedYellow/Green Groups

  • Today I learned in depth what each organ/part of the body does and where they are located. We also learned about the deformities of animals.
  • I loved dissecting the pig and learning about all the body parts. I also liked observing and touching the malformed heads.
  • I would, I want to become a doctor when I grow up and to do so I need to know a lot about anatomy. Dissecting animals really helps me learn more.
  • That there are a lot of similarities with animals and humans.
  • That by dicecting animals you can learn things to help her animals
  • Dissecting animals isn’t for the faint of heart.
  • Pigs are complicated creatures.

Conversation Starters…

Red/Blue Groups

  • How do forces serve to push or pull objects?
  • How does motion connect force and influence objects to move?
  • How does force lift? Thrust? Drag?
  • How did you create your parachute? Were you able to drop it onto the target?
  • How did your airplane fly? What did you take into consideration when you made your airplane?
  • What challenges did you complete in robotics?
  • How do you decide what to program onto your robot?

Yellow/Green Groups

  • What is animal necropsy? Why do we do it?
  • What did you learn today about the organs?
  • Which is larger…a horse’s heart or the horse’s brain?
  • What was the coolest thing you saw today? What was the grossest thing you saw today?
  • What challenges did you complete in robotics?
  • How do you decide what to program onto your robot?

Photo of the Day… click here to view the rest of the photos

IMG_3621reduced

Energy and Pigs…Oh my!

IMG_2454 reducedThe Yellow/Green groups had a busy day off site at the Center for Applied Energy Research! The students really enjoyed the different activities. They learned about Newton’s Laws through Newton’s Cradle, explored energy through balloons, rubber bands, and masking tape; and built some electromagnets. The energy walk was a bit warm, so they cut that a little short, but the students were great about drinking a lot of water! It was a great fun-filled day!IMG_1206 reduced

The Red/Blue groups faced their dissection fears and had a great day learning about animals, necropsy and organs. Dr. Bryant is a very passionate and engaging presenter and showed the students why her job was important. She studies why animals die in order to help prevent it from happening in the future. Our students at camp have very large hearts and were very concerned for the animals that had died; but rest assured, no animals were harmed and the students discussed ethical issues of animal research. They got to see some really cool things – such as round worms, a IMG_7382 reducedcancerous cow organ, a horse heart, etc. After that, the students got to do their own exploring and learning about organs by dissecting a pig. Most of them handled the dissection really well; they were excited to use the special tools and explore the different parts! Some needed a little more encouragement or sat with me while I dissected for them and then we explored together. 🙂 While learning about the different organs and their functions, they played bingo as well!

In their words…

Yellow/Green Groups –

IMG_0614 reducedWhat did you learn about today that you did not know before?

  • that if i ran a company biomass would bring in the most money
  • i learned that there are tons of different ways to save electricity
  • i learned about different types of energy and how much energy different household items use
  • i learned that the more electrons some thing has, the stronger the magnetic field is
  • That even though some energy is good for your wallet, does not mean its good for the environment.
IMG_3613 reducedWhat did you like about what you learned today?
  • we got to generate electricity
  • i liked learning how to make wire spin forever
  • i learned cheap ways of getting feul
  • there was hands on and what we were learning about was interesting
  • i enjoyed learning about how many kilowates go into certain devices
  • I liked the way people explained things. It kept me interested and it also made sense
  • That people are trying hard to find a cheap and efficient way to make energy good for the environmentIMG_7373 reduced
Would you like to learn more about this topic?  Why or why not?
  • more ways that they are helping us be green
  • yes, i could learn different ways to make and save energy
  • yes, because chemistry plays a large role in finding ways to preserve energy

Red/Blue Groups

IMG_7399 reducedWhat did you learn about today that you did not know before?
  • I learned that I can disect a fetal pig without feeling too sick
  • that Disecting things could find Desesises in animals.
  • That a horse can die from constapation
  • I did not no that some people disected animals to see what was wrong with them.
  • I learned how to disect a pig and other things to do with necrology.
  • That worms have 5 brain.
IMG_7379 reducedWhat did you like about what you learned today?
  • That you can send a animal to a veteranaryan for an atopsy
  • Intestines are like spaggetti
  • I like that it was fun and interesting but it was very gross.
Would you like to learn more about this topic?  Why or why not?
  • No because I felt sick and I dont want to barf
  • Yes, because I want to dissect humans as a pathologist.
  • No, because I don’t like seeing guts and removing Hearts and other stuff.
  • no, I do not prefer this subject.
  • Yes, I would want to learn more because I like gross things.

IMG_7374 reducedConversation Starters

Yellow/Green Groups

  • How do we preserve energy?
  • What kind of fuel is the most efficient?
  • What happened to the balls in the Newton’s Cradle?
  • What could we do at home to become more energy efficient or to generate more energy?

Red/Blue Groups

  • What is animal necropsy? Why do we do it?
  • What did you learn today about the organs?
  • Which is larger…a horse’s heart or the horse’s brain?
  • What was the coolest thing you saw today? What was the grossest thing you saw today?
  • What challenges did you complete in robotics?
  • How do you decide what to program onto your robot?

Picture of the Day… click here to view the rest of the pictures

IMG_7412 reduced

Another great day…CAER and Dr. Cooper!

IMG_7342 reducedThe Red/Blue groups had a busy day off site at the Center for Applied Energy Research! The students really enjoyed the different activities. They learned about Newton’s Laws through Newton’s Cradle, explored energy through balloons, rubber bands, and masking tape; and built some electromagnets. It was a great fun-filled day!

The yellow/green groups got to hang out with Dr. Robin Cooper and his graduate students today. The students got to see a real heart, lungs, and brain today. They got to put probes on themselves to measure the electricity going through their bodies. They also viewed and made conjectures about larvae and other fruit fly stages when they were exposed to different colors of light. The did some touch tests with crayfish.

IMG_7324 reducedIn their words…

What did you learn about today that you did not know before?
  • Today I learned how mutations effect fruit flies in different stages of their life. I also learned about blind spots.
  • I learned about optogenetics and how our nerves and senses are effected.
  • That you can change the brain waves of a fruit fly.
  • I learned about the different senses, organs, and the brain
  • That a blood clot could lead to a heart attack or stroke.
What did you like about what you learned today?
  • I liked experimenting with my partner, larvae, fruit flies and crayfish to discover how light, touch, and other senses react or work.
  • I liked touching the lungs and brains.
  • Being Able to touch Actual Real Body Parts that someone once owned
  • I liked how we didn’t see the circle when we covered the opposit eye and focus on the object
  • I like that they experiments made me think about the results.
IMG_7288 reducedWould you like to learn more about this topic?  Why or why not?
  • Yes, because it can solve people’s problems.
  • Yes, because it shows the different types of heart, lung, brain problem of what they look like.
  • I would like to learn more about this topic because this experiment could be tested on many different specis.
  • I would because learning about senses and how they work or can cause reactions especially when modified, was informative and fun.
  • I would like to learn more about this topic because it helps humans and the nervous system is awesome!
Conversation Starters…
IMG_7335 reducedYellow/Green Groups
  • How did your fruit flies react to light? What did they do? How did you measure their movement?
  • What was your favorite body organ you learned about? What kinds of things affect its size?
  • Tell me about how you programmed your robot. What kind of challenges did you start?

Red/Blue Groups

  • How do we preserve energy?
  • What kind of fuel is the most efficient?
  • What happened to the balls in the Newton’s Cradle?

Photo of the Day… Click here to view the rest of the pictures

IMG_7306 reduced

Successful Kick off to Week 2!

stem camp logo 2016We had beautiful weather to kick off the second of our two weeks of 2016 UK See Blue STEM Camp! We are very excited to welcome 217 campers this year to camp! One hundred forty-five of them started today! Registration went very well this morning and we really appreciate everyone’s patience in getting all the forms UK requires turned in. You all are awesome!

Just a note about the consent and assent forms that we ask for every year. Our camp is subsidized by an NSF grant that requires research and reporting to the agency.  The purpose of the research is to develop a camp model that promotes STEM careers to adolescents and can be replicated. We also look at students attitudes towards STEM and the impact of our activities. We do not collect test scores or anything similar for your students nor do they have to be a Fayette County student to participate. Without this grant and consent and assent to participate the camp simply would not exist. We never report any names or any individual data…it’s always aggregated together!

We will post a blog post each night this week with some highlights from the day and some conversation starters. The conversation starters are meant to help you get over the “What did you learn today?” “Nothin’” or <shrugging the shoulders> we often see at the adolescent age. We’ll also post a link to the photos we are taking throughout the week. If at any time you want a photo removed that is of your child, please let us know and we’ll be happy to take it down.

IMG_7161 reducedYellow/Green Groups

Today the students split up and 1/2 saw Dr. Bruce Walcott and the other 1/2 saw Dr. Isabel Escobar. (If you like TED talks, you can view hers here https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=-wbHD77kMWE) In both sessions students were immersed in the wonderful world of engineering…using their hands to build and explore just as engineers do.

Red/Blue Groups

Today the students got to experience the awesome world that Dr. Robin Cooper immerses them in! The students got to see a real heart, lungs, and brain today. They got to put probes on themselves to measure the electricity going through their bodies. They also got IMG_7192 reducedto view and make conjectures about larvae and other fruit fly stages when they were exposed to different colors of light.

All four groups…

In robotics, students started by engineering their robots. They got to build their robot and get to know it. They always love this part, but we’re eager to continue moving them on to basic programming challenges. We have some exciting new challenges planned for them this week!

In their words… Each day we’ll post some excerpts from the students’ reflections of what they learned each day at the STEM Content session. We don’t correct for spelling or grammar in these 🙂 

BLUE & RED – Dr. Cooper

What did you learn about today that you did not know before?
  • You can do more with flies than just kill them
  • I learned that the certain type of mutated fly we used brain was affected by blue lights. The blue light stimulated their nerves therefore after a while paralyzing them
  • I learned that we don’t inhale to take in more air, but cause the acididty in our blood increased
  • I learned that if you are dehydrated then youre blood gets thicker
  • I learned that electrods can close a open circet by sensing your nerve signals
  • One thing i learned is that salt acts as a buffer against CO2
  • When you smoke some of your organs are larger than people who didn’t smoke
  • That scientists use fruit flys to cure about 60 desseses
IMG_7212 reducedWhat did you like about what you learned today?
  • We got to look threw a microscope
  • I liked learning that humans in the future could be treated by light
  • The real life models such as brain, lungs, and spine
  • I like when we learned about blood and organs and how they work and how to keep them healthy
Would you like to learn more about this topic?
  • Yes, i want to learn more about the human body, because it is so very intresting
  • Yes. because i want to see if you can modify other animals
  • What happens when you use red light on the flies. because we did not get to try it
  • Yes it is interesting that flys have the same leg muscles as us
GREEN & YELLOW – Dr. Walcott
What did you learn about today that you did not know before?
  • I learned about the different types of engineering and what causes buoyancy. i also learned about how anechoic chambers work
  • I learned that there was a girl who built the first ac
  • That there is a type of floor that when you stand on it you dont feel any vibrations from the regular floor
  • A concrete boat can float
  • The flavors of engineering, such as: civil, biomedical, mechanical, etc.
IMG_7184 reducedWhat did you like about what you learned today?
  • I liked the anechoic chamber because it was relaxing, the types of engineering because I know I don’t have to do all types of engineering, and I liked experimenting w/ buoyancy
  • The tour of the engineering departments
  • We learned by hands-on activities rather than a worksheet
Would you like to learn more about this topic?
  • Yes because i think engineers get to do whatever they want to build & i think some people have really cool designs
  • Yes. it was ver fun, and is beneficial to our society
GREEN & YELLOW – Dr. Escobar
What did you learn about today that you did not know before?
  • Whats in diapers and that food can be chemestry
  • I learned that the chymical engeneers also work with food not just everyday stuff
  • I learned that many things contain polymers even some surprising things
  • I learned that sodium polyacrylate, when mixed with liquid, becomes gel-like and is used in diapers
What did you like about what you learned today?
  • I liked the exeriments and using different chemicals to see a reaction
  • It was fun to do experiements with sodium polyacrylate
  • I like that i learned a variety of things that have to do with the job of a chemical engineer, and that i now know about a new, intriguing option for my future
  • I like that we did many hands-on activities as well as relations to real life
Would you like to learn more about this topic?
  • Yes it is quite interesting learning about polymers and reactions
  • I would because i like to experiment with different chymicals
  • Yes because I get to learn all about the things I use every day and the value of it
  • Yes, because i want to learn more about how does the sodium polyacrylate get into solid that quick
  • Yes because i know now that chemical engineering is very versatile and has a very wide variety
  • I absolutely would. i love learning new things about how the world works and different compounds and mixtures as well

Conversation Starters… We know that your child is getting to the age where it might be like pulling teeth to get them to talk about their day beyond “It was fine.” “It was fun.” Each day we’ll post some suggested conversation starters centered on camp activities or STEM-related themes.

Yellow/Green – Dr. Walcott:

  • Tell me about how you assembled your robot. Did you follow instructions? Did you just try to figure out what parts went together?
  • Is there a particular field of engineering that you think might interest you?
  • How many pennies did your boat hold? If you could build it again, what would you do differently?

Yellow/Green – Dr. Escobar:

  • What happened when you mixed the powder and water and turned it upside down?
  • What does a chemical engineer do?
  • Is there a particular field of engineering that you think might interest you?
  • Tell me about how you assembled your robot. Did you follow instructions? Did you just try to figure out what parts went together?

Red/Blue Groups:

  • How did your fruit flies react to light? What did they do? How did you measure their movement?
  • What was your favorite body organ you learned about? What kinds of things affect its size?
  • Tell me about how you assembled your robot. Did you follow instructions? Did you just try to figure out what parts went together?

Photo of the Day… Each day we’ll post a camp highlight. Click here to go to the pictures. Please note that we try to capture pictures of all the campers, but we cannot guarantee that we will get every single one. We try our very best to though! Also we are STEM teachers and not full time photographers, so our pictures are not perfect and we leave them unedited, so if you love to edit photos…feel free! 

IMG_7226 reduced

CAER and Engineering Design

<<Our blog is lacking photos right now because they aren’t loading correctly, so please be patient and it should be fixed by the morning.>>

After a busy day off site at the Center for Applied Energy Research, we are back on track and on campus! The students really enjoyed the different activities! They learned about Newton’s Laws through Newton’s Cradle, explored energy through balloons, rubber bands, and masking tape; learned about computer coding by human coding; and built some motors. It was a great fun-filled day! I hope everyone slept well last night 🙂

Today they applied the design engineering process engineers use on a daily basis to different activities. Some students built dams/levees and others did a balloon and origami activity.

In robotics, they really dove into their challenges and we had many many successes! The students are really excited about how far they have come on their programming knowledge and are celebrating their successes each time. It’s so much fun to watch the excitement and ah-ha moments!

In their words…

what did you learn about today that you did not know before?

  • Adding weight makes a balloon bounce high
  • Magnets can make current with conductors
  • I learned how energy never gets dystroyed it just will change the type of energy. I also learned how to make a balloon bounce with tape, washers, and rubberbands
  • How energy is conserved through architecture, other types of engineering, the process of oil creation, how to make a motor
  • Pipelines are the most efficient way to transport gasoline
  • I learned a fridge is more energy efficient than a coffee maker even if it runs 24/7
what did you like about what you learned today?
  • I liked it because it showed how inertia works
  • I liked making DC motor and learning biomass and non-renewable energy while playing a game
  • Different stations allowed us to go different places and do different things
  • It was interactive + the instructors seemed to care about the topic
was there anything you did not like about what you learned about today?
  • no because there were all diverse subtopics residing under one main focus-energy
  • no, I loved it!
  • no, twas not boring
would you like to learn more about this topic? why or why not?
  • Yes because it is interesting and very fun too
  • I would want to learn more about fuels since it’s a more important topic.
  • Yes, it’s fun & helps prepare me for my future occupation
  • I would like to learn more about how to be smart bulding houses that conserve energy
  • Yes because i would either like to be a software engineer/programmer or an architect and i would need to use energy conservation in that

Conversation Starters

  • What process did you use today to engineer your dam/levee?
  • How do you decide to program your robot? What challenges did you and your partner accomplish today?
  • How do we preserve energy?
  • What is the most efficient fuel?

Photo of the day...

Click here to view the photos!

 

Optical Illusions and 3D Pens!

IMG_6737 reducedToday was quite exciting with Dr. Jen Eli. She had the students create and experiment with several different optical illusions. Then she had them creating mathematical models (and other models!) with 3D pens. The students really enjoyed today’s creative outlet session; some probably brought some of the STEM art home with them today!

IMG_6831 reducedIn robotics, they began their programming and started some basic challenges. While Lego has some really nice basic challenges to begin with, Mr. Evans and Mr. Randall like to change it up each year and provide students with challenges more appropriate towards the final challenge they will be doing at the end of the week. So today they worked on driving around curves without hitting walls. There were lots of great successes!

In their words…

What did you learn about today that you did not know before?

  • How to draw a art that tricks the eye. How to use a 3-d pen to make things
  • How neutral colors impact optical illusions.
  • That complementary colors are what mostly make illusions pop out
  • I learned about the parts of a 3-d pen

IMG_6793 reducedWhat did you like about what you learned today?

  • That optical allutions [sic] take the mind and eye to work
  • I liked learning about how 3-D pens work
  • I like making the 3d shapes
  • I used the 3-D pen to draw a shape and decorate it

Was there anything you did not like about what you learned today?

  • Nope! Except that we had to stop! I could have gone on forever!
  • No, i had a great time!

Would you like to learn more about this topic?  Why or why not?

  • Yes, because it is AWESOME + FUN!
  • Yes because i want to learn more about what shapes you could do
  • Yes i like making 3d stuff
  • Yes because there’s so much to learn and it interests me

IMG_6779 reducedConversation Starters…

  • What is an optical illusion?
  • How do colors affect optical illusions?
  • What did you make with the 3D pen?
  • How does the 3D pen work?
  • How could you use a 3D pen to build a model?

Photo of the Day… We took our STEM Camp photo today! Not all of our helpers are in here, but this is all the students and some of our helpers! Aren’t they a great looking bunch this week? Click here to view the rest of the photos from yesterday and today!

Week 1 Group Photo reduced

Week 1 Day 1 is successfully in the books!

stem camp logo 2016We had beautiful weather to kick off the first of our two weeks of 2016 UK See Blue STEM Camp! We are very excited to welcome 216 campers over the course of the next two weeks. Seventy-two of them started today. Registration went very well this morning and we really appreciate everyone’s patience in getting all the forms UK requires turned in. You all are awesome!

Just a note about the consent and assent forms that we ask for every year. Our camp is subsidized by an NSF grant that requires research and reporting to the agency.  The purpose of the research is to develop a camp model that promotes STEM careers to adolescents and can be replicated. We also look at students attitudes towards STEM and the impact of our activities. We do not collect test scores or anything similar for your students nor do they have to be a Fayette County student to participate. Without this grant and consent and assent to participate the camp simply would not exist. We never report any names or any individual data…it’s always aggregated together!

We will post a blog post each night this week with some highlights from the day and some conversation starters. The conversation starters are meant to help you get over the “What did you learn today?” “Nothin’” or <shrugging the shoulders> we often see at the adolescent age. We’ll also post a link to the photos we are taking throughout the week. If at any time you want a photo removed that is of your child, please let us know and we’ll be happy to take it down.

Today the students split up and 1/2 saw Dr. Bruce Walcott and the other 1/2 saw Dr. Isabel Escobar. (If you like TED talks, you can view hers here https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=-wbHD77kMWE) In both sessions students were immersed in the wonderful world of engineering…using their hands to build and explore just as engineers do.

In robotics, students started by engineering their robots. They got to build their robot and get to know it. They always love this part, but we’re eager to continue moving them on to basic programming challenges. We have some exciting new challenges planned for them this week!

In their words… Each day we’ll post some excerpts from the students’ reflections of what they learned each day at the STEM Content session.

Dr. Walcott – What I learned today…
  • We used a slinky as a demonstration of sound waves.
  • I learned that the first woman that graduated from engineering helped invent AC.
  • I learned that weight matters less than volume when it comes to making boats.
  • I would like to be an engineer.
  • The testing of new designs.
20160606_100017Dr. Escobar – What I learned today…
  • That if you mix a type of powder and water and turn whatever you put it in upside down it will not spill.
  • I liked that we did hands-on things instead of just talking about it.
  • You got to play and touch it and experiment with it.
  • I liked that we got to learn things chemical engineers get to experience.
  • I want to learn more about the powder and water because it was really cool watching the powder form into a solid.
  • I liked that we got to do the experiments that went with the lesson.

Conversation Starters… We know that your child is getting to the age where it might be like pulling teeth to get them to talk about their day beyond “It was fine.” “It was fun.” Each day we’ll post some suggested conversation starters centered on camp activities or STEM-related themes.

20160606_095937Dr. Walcott:

  • Tell me about how you assembled your robot. Did you follow instructions? Did you just try to figure out what parts went together?
  • Is there a particular field of engineering that you think might interest you?
  • How many pennies did your boat hold? If you could build it again, what would you do differently?

Dr. Escobar:

  • What happened when you mixed the powder and water and turned it upside down?
  • What does a chemical engineer do?
  • Is there a particular field of engineering that you think might interest you?

Photo of the Day… Each day we’ll post a camp highlight. Clicking on the picture will also link to all of the pictures taken at camp – It’s not working right now because I forgot to bring the camera home to download the pictures. Please note that we try to capture pictures of all the campers, but we cannot guarantee that we will get every single one. We try our very best to though! Also we are STEM teachers and not full time photographers, so our pictures are not perfect and we leave them unedited, so if you love to edit photos…feel free! (We did not do too well at taking pictures today with it being day 1, but we promise to do better tomorrow!)

20160606_100055Don’t forget to follow us on Twitter to get live updates throughout the day! https://twitter.com/SeeBlueSTEMCamp 

 

 

Materials Science, DNA modeling, and challenges…what better way to end a great week of camp?!!

Wow…what a great ending day to an awesome week of camp this year! This has definitely been one of our best years yet!

13801_10152973005860003_5370693974121739163_nThe yellow and green groups take to take an up close look at DNA with Dr. Park-Sarge from the College of Medicine. How up close? They were able to extract their dna was a sample swab they took of themselves. I have to say, it was one of the coolest things I’ve seen in a while!

The red and blue groups explored and learned about materials science today with Dr. Brett Criswell, a science education faculty member in our Department of STEM Education. He kept them very busy the entire time, conducting mini experiments, testing their IMG_0839hypotheses, discovering electrical properties of different mediums via squishy circuits, and even got to make their own gak! The gak recipe was sent home with your child(ren)…it’s a pretty easy and safe recipe to make and it’s actually not quite as messy as play-doh. The students really enjoyed learning about different properties and felt like “real scientists” since they wore goggles when they were conducting their experiments.

IMG_0829In robotics, both groups had their final days with their Green City and Space Challenges. There were so many successes, it’s hard to talk about all of them! Mark Evans, our head of robotics for camp, made some changes to the robotics curriculum this year and we were really pleased with the end result. All of the groups got through at least one challenge on the mats on Friday, and most got through 2 or more. This year’s students were really into robotics more than any group we’ve ever had. On top of the knowledge they gained with basic programming, they really increased their communication and teamwork skills this week!

Looking back, the directors felt this was one of our most successful weeks in the 6 years the camp has been in existence; this is in large part thanks to your efforts as parents and guardians. Thank you for taking the time out of your day to bring your child and pick them up from this unique opportunity! So many students left with positive attitudes towards STEM, an appreciation for STEM, and with a spark of interest in a STEM career.

In their words…

Yellow/Green Group: What did you learn about today that you did not know before?

– I learned that DNA results can be found using these steps that we used today
– Certain things can make cells burst
– the DNA bases, how they related to each other, how to look at my cells
– I learned that double helix ladders can only be right handed because if somebody had a left handed they wouldn’t even exist
– the all cells have 46 chromosomes, also mostly every organism has right hand DNA

What did you like about what you learned today?
– how we were able to see in a test tube what are DNA looked like
– I liked extracting the DNA and making the DNA necklace
– It’s interesting! I like the subject of biology
– I liked that I got to learn what the names of the letters likIMG_0815e A, T, C, G

Red/Blue Group: What did you learn about today that you did not know before?
– I learned about lots of different strengths of plastics
– I learned how to test plastic
– how to make silly puddy and ooblick
– I learned that scientists use weights from heights to test certain types of materials
– that bulletproof glass was plastic

What did you like about what you learned today?
– I liked to learn about how to make things
– it was very hands-on
– I liked making the materials
– making ooblick

Conversation Starters…

Yellow/Green Groups:

  • How did you find out what your own DNA was? What did it look like?
  • What kinds of things can make a cell burst?
  • What is DNA made of?
  • What challenges did you work today in programming your robot for the Space Challenge?

Red/Blue Groups:

  • What is materials science? What makes it special?
  • You did an experiment with several different types of sand today…what were you trying to figure out? Did your results match your hypothesis?
  • What is so special about the Gak/ooblik you made…and wait, you made that!!??
  • What challenges did you work today in programming your robot for the Green City Challenge?

Photo of the Day… Click here to view the photos and click here to view the videos we’ve been able to get uploaded. Don’t forget to glance through the Twitter feed (no sign in needed!) to view pictures and videos from the week!

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Make your own gak, anechoic chambers, and new challenges!

File Jun 11, 5 17 00 PMThursday was another eventful day at See Blue STEM Camp. The students are really engaging well with the content and material and the loudness of the chatter is increasing exponentially, which we view as a good thing. They usually come in pretty quiet and reserved at the beginning of the week, and as they get more comfortable with their groups, the structure of the camp, etc., they really start to come out of their shells. STEM Camp has a knack for bringing out the smiles and voices of even the ones who don’t usually talk!

The Blue and Red groups got to explore the wide and wonderful world of engineeringIMG_1856 today with Dr. Bruce Walcott, a professor in electrical engineering and one of the co-founders of STEM Camp. The students dove deeper today into the design engineering process they learned about on Monday and got to apply it further through small investigations. From a lesson on buoyancy to building small generators to looking at how sound waves move, many were inspired to consider a career in engineering. They got to tour the engineering complex and several of the laboratories where the UK students and faculty really get to build and test their ideas. They got to talk to the UK students and faculty; our students asked them some great questions! The favorite on the tour again today was the anechoic chamber!

The Yellow/Green Groups explored and learned about materials science today with Dr. Brett Criswell, a science education faculty member in our Department of STEM Education. He kept them very busy the entire time, conducting mini experiments, testing their hypotheses, discovering electrical properties of different mediums via squishy circuits, and even got to make their own gak! If the cornstarch in your pantry goes missing, you might check your child’s room… 🙂

IMG_0774In robotics today, each group started their challenge…red and blue groups started the Green City challenge which focuses on ideas around sustainability and energy. The yellow and green groups started the Space Challenge today which focuses on ideas around physical science and astronomy. Since it was new, there were some frustrations, but as they got the hang of the concept of the new challenges, there was some great excitement in the air. All are looking forward to the final day tomorrow where they will really get to put all of their skills together for some more complex programming.

It’s hard to believe tomorrow’s the last day! We sure have enjoyed having them this week. They are truly a great group this year!

In their words…

Red/Blue Groups

What did you learn about today that you did not know before?

  • that it is possible to create a room without echos
  • that slinkies have different sound waves
  • I learned how a boat floats
  • that concrete could float
  • dencity and how it works [sic]
  • how engineers solve their problem
What did you like about what you learned today?
  • learning about echolocation
  • making aluminum foil float
  • I love engineering!
  • calculus
  • how we got to build a genorator [sic]
IMG_1868Yellow/Green Groups
What did you learn about today that you did not know before?
  • glue+water+Borax = Slime!
  • I learned about how to make electricity out of playdough, the different sands and how to make goo
  • That kinetic sand can’t absorb water in any way
    that scientists have to catigor things based on structur and characteristics [sic]
  • what material science is, how to make silly putty, different kinds of sand
  • that you could make a solid out of water and glue
  • You can make putty using borax, water, and glue. Also, magic sand is hydrophobic (water resistant)
What did you like about what you learned today?
  • Getting to make my own gak. An learning about the field of material science
  • I liked that I got to keep this gooey stuff and you could bounce it
  • you can turn corn startch into science
  • I liked making all the slime
  • the scientists can use the materials to make better modified items to change and solve problems
  • materials science is awesome. I’d like to learn how to make more mixtures

Conversation starters…

Blue/Red Groups:

  • What was your favorite part about the engineering tour today?
  • What is an anechoic chamber?
  • How many pennies did your boat hold? If you could build it again, what would you do differently? (The red group didn’t have time to get to this today)
  • Is there a particular field of engineering that you think might interest you?
  • What challenges did you work today in programming your robot for the Green City?

Yellow/Green Groups:

  • What is materials science? What makes it special?
  • You did an experiment with several different types of sand today…what were you trying to figure out? Did your results match your hypothesis?
  • I heard you watched a really cool video about corn starch…can you tell me about it?
  • What is so special about the Gak you made…and wait, you made gak!!??
  • What challenges did you work today in programming your robot for the Space Challenge?

Photo of the Day… (Click here to view the photos and click here to view the videos we’ve been able to get uploaded). Our teacher leaders are rocking the Twitter world this week, so don’t forget to follow us throughout the day!

See Blue STEM Camp was featured on UKNow today…you can read more about it here!

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Brains, 3d pens, and robots…oh my!

CHKFD7EWgAEes_UDay 3 was so intense and great I don’t even know where to start! One teacher leader from the Yellow/Green groups summed up our thoughts pretty well: From programming a robot to handling a human heart: that’s pretty good breadth of experience for a day. 

Today the Yellow and Green Groups got to visit Dr. Robin Cooper’s biology laboratory where they were immersed into the world of stereology. They learned about tumor sizes, especially how they determine them from 2-dimensional slices such as from a MRI machine. They also got to practice 3d modeling using Sketchup today. Then they got to handle some human organs, including the brain, use an EMG to discover electricity in their muscles, and talk about the human body in general through the outreach center.

The red and blue groups got to experience the world of mathematical modeling with Dr. Jen Eli today. They heard the buzz about this session yesterday, so many were very excited about today. They first got to work on their mathematical vocabulary and communicating with a partner through a series of short challenges. Then they dove right in to 3 dimensional figures and used 3D pens to create models of figures such as pyramids, tetrahedron, and even some did the dodecahedron! They really enjoyed using the 3D pens and seeing how the world of modeling has opened up with recent technology devices such as the 3D pens coming down in price.

In robotics today, all four groups continued to work on their challenge mats. We had lots of successes today and the students are feeling confident going into their challenges tomorrow. The most favorite mat has definitely been the “K mat” where the students get the robot to spell out C-A-T-S (and when achieved there areIMG_1835 lots of “CATS CATS CATS” shouts of joy 🙂 ). Tomorrow, the yellow and green groups will be doing the Space Challenge and the red and blue groups will be doing the Green City Challenge.

In their words…

Yellow/Green Groups

What did you learn about today that you did not know before?
  • The leg has the most pulses
  • I learned that they take a picture of different sections of the brain to comoe up with the size of a tumor. [sic]
  • I learned about different parts of the organ and different diseases.
  • How the brain works and about the different brain sections.
  • That there is air and water in ur head [sic]
  • I learned about the human body, lie detector tests, the brai, and what foods have in it.
  • Sick hearts actually get larger.
  • I didn’t know kidey made urine [sic]
  • I learn about the differences of a healthy heart and a heart that’s sick
What did you like about what you learned today?
  • I like that I can use this in real life
  • I liked learning about the human body, also I liked touching the preserved organs.
  • It is something I could use in my career
  • I got to play on sketchup and see lots of things
  • It was fun to hold the organs, and the people were very willing to answer questions. I was never bored.

IMG_0748Red/Blue Groups

What did you learn about today that you did not know before?
  • I learned about a hexagonal prism.
  • How to use a 3 dimensional pen and how to draw connected cubes
  • that you can melt plastic safly [sic]
  • I learned how to draw 3-D shapes with isonic paper.
  • That there was more 3d shapes than regular
What did you like about what you learned today?
  • It was really fun to draw cubes and 3 dimensional shapes on 2d objects
  • I liked using 3-D pens
  • how to use math for archutechual things [sic]
  • it was really hands on

Conversation Starters…

Yellow/Green Groups

  • How big do tumors actually get? How do they know how big they are?
  • What was your favorite organ to learn about and touch? Why?
  • What did you find out when you did the EMG?
  • What challenges did you work on today in robotics? How comfortable are you with the programming now? What did you get your robot to do today?

Red/Blue Groups

  • What polyhedra did you build today with your 3D pen?
  • How successful were you and your partner at communicating during the mathematical challenges today?
  • What challenges did you work on today in robotics? How comfortable are you with the programming now? What did you get your robot to do today?
  • What was your favorite part about using the 3D pen?

Photo of the Day… (Don’t forget to click here to see all the camp photos; and here to follow our twitter feed – no account required!)

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