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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From 2D to 3D…it’s a world of opportunity all around us!

IMG_0719Another fabulous day is in the books! Your students probably came home pretty tired today from all the intense, engaging, excitement they had today! The Yellow and Green groups had the pleasure of one of our alumni coming back all the way from Arizona to present today! She brought with her a slew of mathematical modeling activities, including using our 3D pens! Students had the opportunity to enhance their geometric and spatial reasoning skills in three-dimensions. They also got to work on their mathematical vocabulary and communication as they provided clues in the activities. Of course their favorite part was getting to use the 3D pens (if some are interested, this is the model we purchased and had the most success with – we tested 4 different ones!). They first used the pens to construct polyhedra and then they got to play around with the pen. We had some great and unique creations! IMG_0712

The blue and red groups had a fascinating day with the geocaching (don’t worry I’ll let you ask your student what that is :) ). They got to draw some “old style” maps (aka 2D) and then look at the mapping capabilities of Google Earth and it’s 3D visualizations. They found their houses and then went on a geocaching scavenger hunt on campus.

 

For robotics today they really dug deep into their beginning programming and challenges. Our robotics instructors created some awesome new mats and challenges this year to help guide them more with the programming, so they had a lot of fun getting their robots to drive through the mazes, knock over (empty) water bottles, and even spell out C-A-T-S CATS CATS CATS! There were lots of successes and we caught many of them on video. We’ll try to get all of those uploaded tomorrow for your viewing fun.

Tomorrow brings more mathematical modeling excitement for the red and blue groups and learIMG_5730 copyning about stereology in the yellow and green groups in the biology laboratory.

Your child(ren) will be working in groups all week long. The robotics groups are teams of 2 and will stay the same all week long, while the other groups formed will vary throughout the week. As the “real world” continues to become more team-work oriented, we want to help our students grow in that direction as well. We hope your child gets to work with a variety of students this week and in turn meets some great new friends!

In their words…

Red and Blue Groups:

  • I learned what longitude and latitude means.
  • I liked using Google Earth to find places.
  • I think it was interesting because we got to use fun things with maps.
  • would like to learn more about geocaching, because I like being outdoors.
Yellow and Green Groups:
 
  • (What I would like to learn more) What other kinds of designs I can do because I would like to do them as my house. [sic]
  • I learned that 3D pens are the best thing that’s ever happened.
  • We got to use a 3D pen! (And I got to keep what I made)
  • We learned how to make 3D figures and made shapes with the 3D pens.

Conversation Starters…

Yellow/Green 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?

Red/Blue Groups:

  • What is geocaching? What makes it different than reading an “old, flat map”?
  • What did you find in your geocaching scavenger today?
  • What was your favorite part about working with Google Earth?

Photo(s) of the day… (excited and ready to move on the next part of the afternoon!) Click here to view the rest (our internet is being slow tonight so they are taking a while to load…sorry!)

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A rainy start to a great week!

stem camp logo 2015 Despite the pending rain and storms, we had a great start to our 2015 See Blue STEM Camp! We are very excited to welcome 144 campers together again this year! 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! If you want to read our latest published research on the camp, please feel free to download our article and add it to your nightly reading routine :)

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 blue and red groups (rising 5-6th graders) headed to see Doug Klein, Director of UK’s Project Lead the Way, in the College of Engineering to get some civil engineering hands-on experience. They learned about the design engineering process and then applied it to some civil engineering activities by building dams and levees and testing them out.

The yellow and green groups (rising 7-8th graders) got to experience the wonderful world of engineering today with Dr. Bruce Walcott. They went on a tour of the engineering complex and got to visit several different laboratories and testing rooms. They got to experience the engineering design process by building aluminum foil boats and seeing how many pennies one can hold and they modeled some other engineering activities such as waves with slinkies and magnetic fields, etc.

In robotics, both groups started by reverse engineering their robots. They were given a fully assembled robot and they had to disassemble it and re-assemble. They always love this part, but we’re eager to continue moving them on to basic programming challenges. Many of the groups were able to get to these challenges and had a lot of fun learning and getting to know their robot. We create some new robotics mats this year to work on the basics and creating our own challenges; we hope this will keep the creative juices flowing 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.

Yellow and Green Groups What I learned today…
  • I learned that if you make 90 degree angles for the corners you should hold about 20-25 you pennies.
  • We got to contruct boats test them and record how sound waves travel
  • I did like the Water Resources Lab.  I liked this lab because I find it interesting about how water flows and where it comes from
  • Canoes can be made of concreat
  • I learned how robotic sensors learn how far away they are from an object.
  • Dense things can become bouyant depending on their size and shape.
  • The Greek God’s Golden crown didn’t float in the water. (Archimedes Principle)
Red and Blue Groups What I learned today…
  • I learned what a levee is and how to make one that works.
  • How to build a strudy levee with bubble wrap & dirt.
  • I learned how to make a bridge out of 4 pieces of paper and 2 blocks.
  • What Hydrophilic means
  • That aluminum melts ice VERY fast and that it used to be considered very, very fancy.

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.

Red/Blue Groups (rising 5-6th graders):

  • I didn’t realize there was a special process that engineers used…can you tell more about what they do in their process?
  • What kind of structure did you build today? Did you have restrictions on how to build it or what it could hold?
  • Tell me about how you assembled your robot. Did you follow instructions? Did you just try to figure out what parts went together?

Yellow/Green Groups (rising 7-8th graders):

  • 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?
  • Is there a particular field of engineering that you think might interest you?

Photo of the Day… Each day we’ll post a collage highlight. Clicking on the picture will also link to all of the pictures taken at camp. 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 the rain and such, but we promise to do better tomorrow!)

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

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Ending on a high note!

IMG_2384 copyIt’s hard to believe that we’re already at the end of the week! Today was an even busier day since it was the end of the week and the students were extra alive today from all the activity this week. The blue and red and groups got to experience Dr. Brett Criswell’s wonderful awe-inspiring world of nanotechnology. From experimenting with peach fuzz and different types of plants, to talking about polymer-chains found in over-the-counter indigestion medicines, the students were taken to the teeny tiny world of nano-land. They had a great time conducting different experiments and even remembered such things as Congo Red! In robotics, they wrapped up an awesome week with finishing many challenges in the green city challenges. There were lots of screams of excitement, joy, and high fives going around as the students became more communicative within their groups and more confident in their programming skills. We tried to capture some video of it today. Clicking on the video will take you to our YouTube Channel where you can view more videos from today.

IMG_2359 copyThe yellow and green groups got to experience the wonderful world of engineering with our resident engineering expert, Dr. Bruce Walcott. The students got to tour the engineering complex at UK and got to go into many of the different laboratories that UK College of Engineering has. There were faculty and graduate students onsite in the laboratories so they were able to show the students some of their latest research discoveries and experiments and let the students tinker with some of the lab materials as well. Seeing real research happening is always inspiring to the students and they really ask great questions that sometimes even stump the researchers! Of course the favorite again was the sound proof room. I’m not sure what it is about that room, but they always enjoy it! They also built mini motors and talked about simple machines with Dr. Walcott. They really enjoyed the various engineering design activities and applying their content skills. They ended their engineering time with some teamwork activities, including the favorite Hula Hoop Challenge. Students often forget that in the real world, most of our work is done in teams and communication is vitally important. So the students had a great time learning to communicate and talk to each other more.

IMG_2361 copyLego robotics for the yellow and green groups was much more successful today. We even had a couple of groups do all the challenges on the Space Challenge! The Space Challenge and EV3 programming is definitely a lot different from the NXT programming, so some were frustrated a couple of days ago, but were much more confident today. It was such a joy to watch them grow over the past week in this area. They really enjoyed the Space Challenge…it is definitely more complex than the Green City they were used to before!

We all had such a great and enjoyable week with the students. It would not at all have been possible without the tremendous staff that we had this year! I had a bit of a panic moment when (because of snow days) we decided to combine both camps into one week; but some quick creative thinking brought on an awesome opportunity for our preservice teachers in our middle and secondary programs and our doctoral students at UK. Some of the college students took a Robotics class with me prior to camp starting and assisted Mark Evans and Robbie Randall in the robotics rooms and some of the college students just wanted to help out with the camp. I would like to take the opportunity to introduce you to and thank our staff this year.

We have a great group of graduate students in the STEM Education department at UK and these 5 are no exception!

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L-R Back – Kayla Blyman, Floyd Broughton, Thomas Roberts; L-R Front – Maranda Miller, Marla Lemmon

Our inservice teachers are priceless! Robbie and Mark take the lead on the robotics, Brooke (Green Group), Tavin (Yellow Group), Megan (Blue Group), and Candice (Red Group) were our team leaders this year, of course Craig is the inventor, creator, and director of the See Blue STEM Camp. The camp is a way for our inservice teachers to stay connected to the university, provide high quality mentoring to the preservice teachers involved, and even have the opportunity to engage and learn new content and materials alongside the students.

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L-R Back – Robbie Randall (Beaumont MS), Mark Evans (Jessie Clark MS), Candice Cprek (Henry Clay HS); L-R Front – Brooke Powers (Beaumont MS), Tavin Feheley (Jessie Clark MS), Craig Schroeder (Beaumont MS). Not pictured – Megan Vogel (Tates Creek MS)

Since we were going to 1 week with 144 students, we knew we had needed to have more help. It was an obvious choice to offer the opportunity to the preservice (future teachers) middle and secondary mathematics and science students in our College. Through this unique experience, they got to work with the students in a smaller, low-stakes setting that allowed them to really practice their classroom management skills, their questioning techniques, and work on developing appropriate relationships with students. They were mentored through this process by the high quality inservice teachers as well as the college faculty we had involved. Although they were exhausted by the end of the week, they all stated this was the best learning experience they have had thus far and really enjoyed the opportunity to grow as future educators and felt they gained a lot of STEM content knowledge alongside the students as well.

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L-R Back – Andre Henderson, Brian True, Alex Freeman, William Schooler, Michael Delfino, Eric Garwood, Zeke Edwards; L-R Middle – Ben Wolfe, Maria Richards, Brittney Denton, Lydia Speler, Amy Allen, Tyler Waters, Chris Rogers, Clay Rehmel, Shelby Cameron; L-R Front Row Katherine Poe, Alanna Briggs, Jamie Kosel, Michael Plas

Craig, myself, Christa Jackson, Mark Evans, Gabe Brown, and Bruce Walcott are the team that make up the directors of the camp. We do everything from logistics to food to parent communication to anything else that needs to be done to help things run smoothly.

L-R Craig Schroeder, Christa Jackson, and Margaret Schroeder; Not pictured- Mark Evans, Bruce Walcott, and Gabe Brown

L-R Craig Schroeder, Christa Jackson, and Margaret Schroeder; Not pictured- Mark Evans, Bruce Walcott, and Gabe Brown (they were making sure everything was running smoothly while we were snapping pictures!)

Conversation starters…

Red and Blue Groups

  • What is nanotechnology?
  • What kinds of things repel water? Why do they need to repel water?
  • How do you make magic sand?
  • Peaches reflect water? I’ve never heard about that. Tell me more!
  • What challenge(s) did you complete in the Green City Challenge?
  • How do you and your partner(s) work together to program and complete the challenges?
  • What was your favorite part about STEM Camp?
  • Out of all the things you learned this week, what was the most interesting?
  • What career do you want to pursue when you get older? What kinds of classes are you going to need to take in order to be successful in your career?

Yellow and Green Groups

  • What is a sound proof room? What makes it sound proof?
  • What was your favorite lab you visited? What made it your favorite?
  • What challenge(s) did you complete in the Space Challenge?
  • How do you and your partner(s) work together to program and complete the challenges?
  • What was your favorite part about STEM Camp?
  • Out of all the things you learned this week, what was the most interesting?
  • What career do you want to pursue when you get older? What kinds of classes are you going to need to take in order to be successful in your career?

Video of the Day… This video really exemplifies why we do this and why we feel it’s important for students to have these opportunities.

Check out the Camp Pictures here

Check out videos Here

Don’t forget to follow us on Twitter – @seebluestemcamp

We thank you for a wonderful week with your students and hope you have an enjoyable rest of the summer!

Next year’s camp dates are tentatively set for June 8 – 12, 2015 at the University of Kentucky Colleges of Education and Engineering for rising 5th, 6th, 7th, and 8th graders. 

 

The Wonderful World of Engineering!

IMG_4837 copyWith all 143 students back on campus today we were all pretty busy…having lots of fun! Today was full of engineering fun for both groups. Red and blue groups had a blast with the Dr. Walcott and other College of Engineering staff. They got to tour the different facilities and laboraties the College of Engineering has. One of their favorites was going into the sound proof room…now if only we could get them to stay quiet for 30 sIMG_4861 copyeconds to really experience it :) They also got to design an aluminum boat and test it’s floating capacity. In robotics, they got started on the Green City Challenge today and had a lot of great successes. There were lots of smiles and high-fives as the students completed the various tasks associated with the challenges. Tomorrow they are in for another treat with Dr. Brett Criswell and some nanotechnology action! IMG_4867 copy Since the astronomy viewing was not available all week because of night time cloud cover, Dr. Tim Knauer – Director of the MacAdams Observatory – came over after his class today and set up his special telescope that allowed the students to view the sun directly. They were very excited to see the fiery ball and even a ring was visible! We only wish the other two groups could’ve seen it too, but he is teaching a class until 12:30 each day. IMG_4844 copy

The yellow and green groups took to some design engineering activities with Mr. Doug Klein from Project Lead the Way. Mr. Klein had them building away during their session. The students were very excited to be “real engineers” for the day and got to design and build dams and levees. In robotics they started the newly-released Space Challenge. Since this is a new, it brought about it’s own set of challenges, but the kids did a great job of working through it all together, being patient, and working on programming. One group got up to 53 blocks for one program! Wow! Tomorrow they will get to end with a STEM Camp favorite – Dr. Bruce Walcott.

In their words…

The wonderful world of engineering! (Dr. Bruce Walcott) – red and blue Groups

  • ​I learned that when being an engineer you have to consider the volume of what your creating like what we did with the pennies.
  • That concrete boats float
  • Yes because I enjoy both math and science which are what you use in engineering.
  • The more the volume of a boat, the better it can float with weight.
  • I thought the activities made it fun.
Design Engineering – Mr. Doug Klein – yellow and green groups
  • ​Building the egg mobile
  • That we got to actually enginer stuff.​
  • I learned how to build a dam.
  • I am interested in a career in engineering because I like to create things and solve problems.
  • Yes; engineering is all around us and is a big part in life.
  • Levees (effective ones, at least) can be made with tape, cardboard, dirt, and popsicle sticks.
  • It was interactive, fun, and included one of my possible careers.
  • Yes because I love Stem and it is my passion.

IMG_4793 copyConversation Starters…

Blue and Red Groups

  • What is a sound proof room? What makes it sound proof?
  • How many pennies were you able to put into your boat? What makes your boat float?
  • How did you find the area or dimensions of what your boat needed to be?
  • What was your favorite part of engineering today?
  • What challenge did you complete in the Green City Challenge?
  • How do you and your partner(s) work together to program and complete the challenges?

Yellow and Green Groups

  • What does it mean to be an engineer?
  • What do you need to build a successful levee or dam?
  • Talk to me about how you created your levee or dam today. What did you take into consideration as you built it?
  • What is an egg mobile?

Picture of the Day… Be sure to scroll through the pictures as I noticed that I didn’t hit accept to publish the pictures from yesterday. I’m missing half of the pictures from today so I will get them uploaded in the morning…my apologies…we’re trying hard to keep up with these great kids! IMG_9635 copy

We made it through Hump Day!

IMG_2591It was yet another busy, fun-filled, informative day at the See Blue STEM Camp! The Yellow and Green Groups loaded up the buses and headed out to the Center for Applied Energy Research (CAER) today while the red and blue groups remained on campus for a day of robotics and mathematical modeling with Dr. Cindy Jong. The yellow and green groups really enjoyed their time at CAER and learned A LOT. They came home with some paving stones that they made themselves and learned about the chemical reactions between concrete and cement…be sure to ask them about it! If the stones start to crack put a little water on them as that should help it as it cures. Since they were out at CAER today there was no robotics for them.

IMG_2868The red and blue groups had a great time doing some mathematical modeling with Dr. Cindy Jong. I always love having the students experience “pure mathematics” because most come in sullen that they “have to do” mathematics and then they realize that math can be engaging and fun! They first talked about 3D structures and had the opportunity to build with some sticks and balls manipulatives trying to figure out the varying strengths of different configurations. Then they learned what origami had to do with math. They made origami cubes and some even got to the crane today. They were all very excited by the end!

In robotics they worked on programming. They learned how to do a 180 degree turn, complete the parking lot challenge and the square challenge. They learned that not all robots are created equal and had fun figuring out which variables (math!) had to be changed in order to get their robot to do what they wanted it to do. That completes the basics for them so tomorrow they will start on the Green City Challenge.

IMG_4720 copyTomorrow we’ll all be back together on campus…we have deemed tomorrow Engineering Day! The students will spend most of their time in the engineering complex tomorrow…it’s usually one of the favorites!

 

 

In their words…

Mathematical Modeling (red and blue groups):

  • ​I learned about polyhedrons.
  • I liked doing the origami crane.
  • I really liked that my bridge didn’t break.
  • I liked how we got to build 3D shapes.
  • Yes, because I would like to build bridges when I grow up.

CAER (yellow and green groups):

  • ​​Seaweed can be made into fuel and is edible.
  • A lot of the information we learned today could benefit us in the real world.  Some of the information we learned could inspire us to be scientist
  • I find this very applicable to real life situations.
  • Yes, because I like science and I wish to work here one day.
  • About how many biofuels like algae can consume carbon-dioxide and create any fuel.
  • I liked learning these things today because It will help my future.

Conversation Starters…

Yellow and Green Groups:

  • What did you learn on your energy walk today?
  • Where does Kentucky rank in comparison to the other states in energy usage? Why is our ranking so high when we have such a low population?
  • What in the world is Flocculation?
  • I always thought that cement dried…what happens to it if it doesn’t dry? What is it actually doing?
  • What was your favorite part of going to the Center for Applied Energy Research?

IMG_4681 copyRed and Blue Groups:

  • What does origami have to do with math?
  • What kind of shapes did you use in building your bridge?
  • How did you get your cube together without using tape or glue?
  • Why is mathematical modeling important?

Picture of the Day… Don’t forget that clicking the picture will take you to all the pictures we took today!

Collage Day 3

STEM Camp by the Numbers

We’re having fun with some infographics today in the office, so we thought we’d share what we’ve come up with thus far! Here are some other fun facts about the camp this year:

  • 143 rising middle grades students
  • From 60 different schools across 19 different cities in the Commonwealth (furthest was 2 1/2 hours away)
  • Camp Staff includes:
    • 1 staff member
    • 20 Preservice Teachers
    • 6 Doctoral/Graduate Students
    • 7 Inservice Teachers
    • 1 High School Student
    • over 35 UK STEM and STEM Education Faculty
    • 1 Family Resource Youth Service Coordinator

Getting down and dirty on Day 2

IMG_4638 copyThere was an exciting buzz in the air this morning with the red and blue groups eager to go on their field trip to the Center for Applied Energy Research (CAER)! The day definitely lived up to their expectations as they got to explore many different aspects of energy and energy consumption in Kentucky in particular. The students interacted with nearly 25 of CAERs research faculty and staff in their laboratories. They brought home a handmade paving stone. Be sure to ask them about the properties and differences of concrete and cement! The stones will need a few days to cure…if it gets a little crumbly or starts to crack, some water on the top should help that out while it cures. The students spent all day out there so there was no robotics for them today.

Bq6bol2CcAERAL6IMG_2210 copyMeanwhile back on main campus the students had a fun and exciting day with Dr. Uneeda Bryant, from UK Veterinary Science. At last year’s camp, this group of students experience medicine from the human side and so this year we decided to give students exposure to the animal side of medicine. Dr. Bryant brought a great energy to the classroom and got the students very excited about pigs! The students loved the exploratory activity and were even more excited to get to touch and experiment with some of the other animal items she brought with her. I think there were a lot of eyes opened to different side of medicine that many had not considered before!

IMG_2146 copyIMG_2147 copyRobotics today for the yellow and green group meant a lot of time learning how to program. They are using the EV3s this year and the programming looks different than the NXTs. There was quite a learning curve with it, but it was so much fun to watch them catch on to programming and try to get their robots to go in a square and follow a line using the color sensor. They also explored the ultrasonic sensor and some got to the medium motor today as well.

It was another adventorous day for the students and the staff. We love having them on campus! It brings such energy and life to the building that is sometimes lost and forgotten in the late spring and early summer. The red and blue groups are eager to return to robotics and build some bridges tomorrow with Dr. Cindy Jong while I know the yellow and green groups are excited about their field trip to CAER. Don’t forget long pants and closed toed shoes!

In their words…

Veterinary (yellow and green groups)

  • ​I liked dissecting the pig because I am now interested in being a pathologist.
  • It was hands on and new
  • I would like to learn more about this topic because it will help me if I choose to become a biologist.
  • That we actually got to dissect a pig!
CAER (red and blue groups)
  • ​​I learned things that I had never even heard of before.
  • It was fun I liked the stones.
  • Many things like coal ashes can be recycled and turned into something new.
  • That not just the person teaching was doing it we all were.
  • That was FUN!

Conversation Starters…

IMG_6184 copyRed and Blue Groups

  • What did you learn on your energy walk today?
  • Where does Kentucky rank in comparison to the other states in energy usage? Why is our ranking so high when we have such a low population?
  • What in the world is Flocculation? (hint – pictured here)
  • What was your favorite part of going to the Center for Applied Energy Research?

Yellow and Green Groups

  • What did you like or not like about dissecting the pig today? (Some did not like it so it would be good to talk to them about why…especially some of them mentioned to us that they wanted to go into medicine but did not like dissection at all.)
  • What did you learn about pathology and veterinary science?
  • How did you like programming the EV3 robots? How did you know what to change when you were trying to make your robot go in a square?

Photo of the Day… 

We took our group photos today so there are two…click either one to get to the photo gallery. We did a much better job of capturing photos and tweeting today…thank you for your patience!

Yellow and Green Groups at Memorial Hall

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Red and Blue Groups at Center for Applied Energy Research

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