Exploration Tuesday!

We had another fabulous day at STEM Camp! The sea of green looked awesome walking across campus, especially since freshmen registration and orientation started today all across campus!

The red and blue groups had a fabulous day with Dr. Walcott in the College of Engineering. They learned about the different types of engineering (Dr. Walcott likes to call them flavors) and toured several of the research labs where the graduate students showed them the latest research they were working on with the professors. They also made robots today called Scribble Bots…the students had a blast building their robots and learning about circuits. They may need some hope taking the battery in and out as the case is really tight for it.

The yellow and green groups took a turn in Dr. Cooper’s lab today with him and his graduate students! Many came home with tracings of their body – they traced themselves and then drew pathways of the nervous system. They then did some investigations with sensitivity, the nervous system, and crawfish. They also visited the medical education center where they looked at different human organs, some were diseased and some were healthy. The students were surprised at how heavy the brain was!

In robotics, all groups dove right into programming today. They learned about the FLL challenge they’ll be doing on Thursday and goals for programming this week. They started on the maze challenge and color sensor challenge. Tomorrow they will start stringing more code together and adding on different sensors.

In their words…

  • By making a lobsided moter it creates more vibration.
  • That non-flat walls take away or capture more sound then flat walls, flat walls make an echo
  • that dead brains look disgusting
  • I learned about nuerons and synapse
  • heat can change when you take your hands off nose
  • I didn’t know that the signals from the brain react to your body when you get hurt.
  • that crawdads have a tail reflex

Conversation Starters… 

Red/Blue Groups

  • What was your favorite part of the engineering tour? What did you learn about engineers today that you did not know before?
  • Tell me about how you assembled your scribble bot. How did you know how to connect things? What did your scribble bot do when you connected the motor to the battery? What does the glue stick on the end of the motor do?
  • What did you want your robot to do today? How did you get your robot to do what you wanted it to do?

Yellow/Green Groups:

  • How do muscles in your arm move? What is the path of the signals?
  • How do you create electricity with your arm?
  • What was the most interesting thing you learned about the human organs today?
  • What did you want your robot to do today? How did you get your robot to do what you wanted it to do?

Photo of the Day…

A Solarific Final Day!

I can’t believe another week of camp has flown by! We really enjoyed the students this week and they really enjoyed being positively engaged in the STEM activities! I saw a lot of weary faces leaving today, so I think we also did a good job of wearing them out this week.

The red and blue groups got to do some 3-Dimensional modeling with origami and 3D pens. They were very creative with their 3D pen creations! I hope you enjoyed what they brought back to show you tonight. They also created polyhedra using origami paper folding. They really enjoyed this as they got to investigate how 2 dimensional figures can fit together to create 3 dimensional ones.

The yellow and green groups got their turn in the chemistry lab today investigating voltage and solar cells! They were amazed at the variations in voltage and current amongst the three different types of fruit. The lemon batteries were definitely a hit as well.


In robotics, they wrapped up the FLL challenge. The students have come so far with their programming! All the groups were able to complete at least one different challenge and there was definitely a feeling of confidence in programming when they left today.

We also had a special visitor today – Interim Commissioner of Education Dr. Wayne Lewis visited camp today. The students were eager to show off their models and talk to him about what they were learning and how it could help them in their classroom learning. We had a great discussion with him about how we could bring more opportunities for engaged STEM learning across the state during the summer and throughout the academic year.

In their words…

  • A lot of random things produce electricity
  • There is a way to make solar cells out of tea and fruit
  • I got to actually make a solar cell!
  • Lemons can produce energy.
  • I learned about solar cells and how to caculate the voltage of the solar cells.
  • 3-D is FUN!
  • I learned about the Euler’s formula.
  • What a tetrahedron is.

Conversation Starters…

Red/Blue Groups

  • What shapes did you use to put together your big origami shape? How did you know how to fit the pieces together?
  • What did you create with your 3d pen?
  • What challenges did you complete in robotics today? What did you do to get your robot to go?
  • What was the most exciting thing about doing STEM Camp this week?

Yellow/Green Groups

  • How can you make a battery? What is voltage?
  • How do you make a solar cell? What different kinds of materials did you investigate today around making a solar cell?
  • What happens when you covered up your homemade solar cell?
  • What challenges did you complete in robotics today? What did you do to get your robot to go?
  • What was the most exciting thing about doing STEM Camp this week?

Photo of the Day…


Taking Flight and Solar Energy!

Another great day is in the books! The students got a lot of walking today as they were in the beautiful Don & Cathy Jacobs Science Building. The building is our newest academic building on campus and the science labs in there are always a treat for our students to do their investigations.

Today the red and blue groups were with Dr. Graham from the Department of Chemistry. He had them explore solar cells and how different materials used in solar cells compare. They also got to investigate how batteries work and made their own battery!

 

The green and yellow groups took their turn at flight school, looking at the mathematics and physics of airplanes with Dr. Thomas. They made a variety of different types of airplanes to investigate different effects. They had fun flying the planes and making predications about what was going to happen!

In robotics, the students started the FLL challenge today. In the FLL challenge, they take their programming knowledge to the next level by adding more sensors, multiple loops, and sequences to complete a challenge task. The students really enjoy the trial and error and of course the end result when their code works! The yellow and green group had a special treat today; they got to meet a local robot celebratory, Marty!

In their words…

  • we learng that air pockets create drag
  • That the position of weight on an airplane effects how it flies
  • … I find physics and aerodynamics fascinating
  • This is because I solved a problem by building something with my own mind. – This made me feel innovative.
  • I learned that all 4 dimensions of a plane equal out.
  • I learned that planes need drag, pull, and force to be level in the sky.
  • I learned that glliders are designed to go slightly downhill. I was really cool to see how physics has a part in paper airplanes
  • I learned more about how voltage works.
  • That Hibiscus can create the best solar panel out of pomegranite, Hibiscus and blackberry
  • you can use a lemon as a battery.
  • …chemistry is combining things to find something new

Conversation Starters…

Red/Blue Groups

  • How can you make a battery? What is voltage?
  • How do you make a solar cell? What different kinds of materials did you investigate today around making a solar cell?
  • What challenges did you complete in robotics today? What did you do to get your robot to go?

Yellow/Green Groups

  • What makes an airplane go into the air?
  • What did you take into consideration when you created your airplane? How did that work for you? What are some other things you tried?
  • What different types of airplanes did you make? How did they work differently?
  • What challenges did you complete in robotics today? What did you do to get your robot to go?

Picture of the Day…

Steamy STEM Fun!

We’re cruising right along this week. The students really have gotten into a nice groove already! They’ve really done well with teamwork and have conducted some great investigations already!

Today the blue and red groups ventured all the way across campus to discover things about their nervous system, look at the human organs in the medical science education center, and conduct some investigations around introreceptors, contracting muscles and other fun stuff!

The yellow and green groups took their turn with the UK engineering complex. Along with the different labs, they got to build some motors and use the engineering design process to investigate surface area and mass.

In robotics, both groups dove right into programming today! They started with some of our maze challenges and many jumped into the sensors and using the sensors. Tomorrow we have some more unique challenges up our sleeves! The students are paired up for the robotics and they have truly done a fabulous job of working together already! We always emphasize collaboration, taking turns, and talking through problem solving together; it’s really nice to see such great teamwork in action on Day 2 already!

In their words…

  • I learned you can create electricity with your arm
  • I learned that your fingers are more sensitive than your arm.
  • you have the ability to sense PH
  • Our muscles create electricity.
  • I really liked doing the crafrish activity because it gave a good understaing of sensitiveity + senses
  • I liked the tour becuase it explained alot about Engineering at UK.
  • most boats don’t sink because they have a large amount of volume
  • I liked going the the sound canceling room and the 3-D Printing room.

Conversation Starters

Red/Blue Groups

  • How do muscles in your arm move? What is the path of the signals?
  • How do you create electricity with your arm?
  • What was the most interesting thing you learned about the human organs today?
  • What did you want your robot to do today? How did you get your robot to do what you wanted it to do?

Yellow/Green Groups

  • Tell me about your plan for your boat you assembled today? What did you take into consideration? Did you change your plan at all?
  • What was your favorite part of the engineering tour? What did you learn about engineers today that you did not know before?
  • What did you want your robot to do today? How did you get your robot to do what you wanted it to do?

Photo of the Day…

Click the picture and it will take you to the weekly photo album. 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! If there is a photo you wish to have removed, please email me and we’ll take it down!

Last day extravaganza!

It’s hard to believe the week is already over! The students were really sad, but we made sure they had a great time (and were worn out!) by the time they left us today. It’s truly been an exciting week of discovery, adventure, and curiosity. The students were awesome! They were inquisitive. They explored. They tinkered. They built. They programmed. They persevered through challenges and celebrated their successes. We loved seeing the transformations!

WKYT and the Herald Leader stopped by today for a visit. The students were so excited to show off their knowledge and show them how things are done in “STEM” 🙂

WKYT Videos – http://www.wkyt.com/content/news/Middle-school-students-code-robotics-and-study-DNA-at-UK-camp-428884543.html

Herald Leader Video – http://www.kentucky.com/news/local/education/article156562794.html/video-embed

Red/Blue Groups

They were in a chemistry lab with Dr. Kenneth Graham, Assistant Professor of Chemistry, and his graduate students in the Don and Cathy Jacobs Science Building today and got to test out different types of solar panels and even created their own solar panel! They tested them inside and outside to see how much energy was needed to power a LED light. In robotics, they wrapped up the Green City Challenge…there were lots of cheering going on as there were many, many successes today!

Green/Yellow Groups

They got to use mathematical modeling to build bridges with Dr. Jonathan Thomas, Associate Professor of Mathematics Education. They got to use a variety of materials to first build the tallest tower they could, and then they built a bridge. They had to keep track of costs though on the bridge building; the goal was to hold at least 8 pounds. There were some fabulous designs! The students used the design engineering process to design, build, test, tweak, test, etc. their products. In robotics, they wrapped up the Space Challenge…just like the other groups there were many successes and lots of high fives, big smiles and cheering going on!

In their words…

Red/Blue Groups
  • “Black Berries can make a solar panel!
  • “Nylon is in tooth brush bristles.
  • (Do you want to know more about his topic? )”yes so I could possibly make my house solar powered.
  • “I liked making the solar cell”
  • “I learned what chemists did, how nylon was made, and how to make a solar panel.
  • “You can make a solar panel out of a blackberry!
  • “I learned the chimist are more inportant than I thought.”

Yellow/Green Groups

  • “Paperclips are a really strong building material.
  • “I learnd that quality is not all about how it looks
  • “how diffrent stuctures effect the strength of towers and bridges
  • “I liked when we got to test our bridge
  • “We got to build bridges”
  • “How to make sure a bridge works
  • “how diffrent stuctures effect the strength of towers and bridges”

Conversation Starters…

Blue/Red Groups

  • What is solar energy? What can it do for us?
  • What did you measure today using your multimeter? What did you find out?
  • Was there a difference in the panels you looked at today?
  • How did you create your own solar panel? Could you create one for our home?
  • What did you get your robot to do today? How did you do that?
  • What do you want to be when you grow up? How do you think STEM will help you in your career?

Yellow/Green Groups

  • What do bridges need to be strong?
  • How did you decide what materials to use for your bridge?
  • How did you decide on your design for your bridge?
  • How did your bridge do when you tested it?
  • How tall was your tower you built?
  • What did you get your robot to do today? How did you do that?
  • What do you want to be when you grow up? How do you think STEM will help you in your career?

Photo of the Day…