Core Classes

Sampler of Past Core Class Descriptions

App Inventor

Invent the Next Angry Birds! Do you love playing mobile apps like Angry Birds and Candy Crush? Just love to be creative? Develop your own apps and learn basic programming skills in the MIT App Inventor course. Campers will work with tablets and computers to create apps that can be used on Android devices.

Bodies by Design

How do all the parts of our bodies work together, to function as an amazing biological whole?  Join us while we explore the eleven human body systems!  Through model-building, dissections, and use of microscopes, campers will learn to identify the parts of each system; compare systems to each other at the cellular, tissue, and organ level; discuss each system’s function in relation to their structure; understand how the systems work together; and compare our body system to those of other animals.

(pH)un Chemistry-The Science of Acids and Bases

The science of acids and bases will be fully explored by enjoying the fun basics of organic chemistry.  What is an acid? What is a base?  Which is more dangerous? Are there really acids that can eat through tables?  During this week, we will explore what acids and bases are, where we find them, what they do, how we use them, and how they interact within our environment.

Climate Science

Are you interested in the environment? Does climate change intrigue you? Here’s a chance to see what happens when the temperature changes in the animal kingdom. You’ll have a chance to build different dwellings and learn about thermal energy transfer by different methods. You’ll test materials for their ability to keep heat out and cool in! Build a home for a penguin ice cube and see if you can keep it in shape!

Cyber Security

In Cyber Security, your week will be filled with games, activities and scenarios. You will explore how computers talk to each other, understand binary and how the internet works. Cyber security current events will be researched and debated and the “how to protect” for on-line security will be a must do. Teamwork is a central theme to dis-assemble computers and participate in escape room activities.

Engineering Design Process

Become an engineer for the week! This class is designed to introduce you to the diverse and exciting world of engineering as you get to become three different types of engineers throughout the week. Explore challenging problems for which you get to design, build, and test different solutions. You’ll engage in astronautical engineering as you build a zip-line device to drop a load on a specific location, just like the NASA LCROSS mission had to build a rocket that would crash on the moon on a very precise location. You’ll become a civil engineer and work throughout the week to build a wooden bridge to hold a specific weight. Finally, you’ll become an environmental engineer as you identify the location of a chemical spill, evaluate different solutions to that chemical spill, and ultimately design and test your own solution to clean up the spill before it reaches the town’s aquifer.

Marine Biology

There is a marine mystery to be solved!  Are you up for the challenge?  You and your teammates will gather evidence through a variety of hands-on activities and compare results in you own creative way with other teams at the end of the week.  Investigate water quality, compare the similarities and differences of marine organisms through dissection, test your ingenuity with an engineering challenge, and more!  Dive into fun explorations and share great times with other campers throughout the week in this marine biology class.

Stardust Astronomy

Have you ever heard the saying “We are but stardust”?  What exactly does this mean?  Come journey into the study of astronomy where you will learn about the composition of stars, build your own telescope to view them, compare element light spectrometry barcodes with chemical flame tests and learn to identify constellations in the night sky.  Get your Astronomy on!

 

Robotics

Robots are evil and are going to take over the world!  If you read science fiction books and watch Syfy movies that is the way the world will go.  In this class, you will work with the Mindstorms EV3 robotics kits to build and program robots to perform tasks.  The final task will be a competitive challenge.  We will learn and discuss why people could be worried about robots in the future.

Understanding Climate Change

Dig deep into one of the hottest topics in STEM!  The class starts with an in-depth look at sources of CO2 and the greenhouse effect with an engaging lab and demonstrations.  We’ll take a look at misconceptions about climate change and learn how to know if information you find is accurate, verifiable, complete, and from a reputable  source.  You will then conduct your own scientific research, discuss ripple effects, and examine solutions.  You will come away prepared to analyze what you hear about climate change out in the world.  You’ll also be ready to use critical thinking skills to draw your own conclusions about what should be done to come up with ways you can take action to mitigate the effects of climate change in your homes, schools and communities.

Up, Up and Away Physics!

In this exciting class, you will work in small teams to construct a 9-foot tall hot air balloon and launch and retrieve these colorful creations at weeks end. Supplemental work includes hands-on science activities to learn physics concepts of gravity, buoyancy, density, air resistance, fluids and pressure. If time permits, you will also engineer, build and launch air pressure powered stomp rockets in the simulation “Rockets to the Rescue”.