Four weeks of science camp have flown by! In week one, we examined the State of Things which included the three (major) states of matter. We affected change between them, mixed up some simple solutions and talked about molecules. Highlights of the week included a very exciting volcano demonstration (who put that water in the vinegar bottle?!) followed by our trip to the Pompei exhibit at the ROM.
In week two, we took our curriculum outside to collect samples. Our Junior Botanists learned to identify plants by their leaf shapes and herbs by their smell. We made leaf rubbings and pressed flower bookmarks and also looked at the things we found through our microscopes. Our trip on Friday was to the AGO for the Landscape Painters exhibition which prompted a really insightful discussion about how humans shape the landscapes they inhabit. The gallery staff member we spoke with was stunned by these very small people with very big ideas. The best idea of the day, however, was to taste test the changing state of dairy as it melts from an ice cream cone!
The third week, Biology 101, was action packed. We covered Darwin, the Fibonacci sequence, made some beautiful watercolours after viewing body tissues under the microscope and did animal research on the High Park Zoo animals. On Friday, the older kids went to the zoo to visit the animal they had researched and afterward, we were treated to a philosophy discussion by a visiting Professor of Philosophy. The children had some wonderful insight to offer in their attempts to answer the question What is Alive?
Our final week was Invention Week and each day the children had a new challenge to solve in the Design Lab. After a warm up with Snap Circuits, they would be given some raw materials and a task to solve which varied from building a catapult to working in teams to create a tower out of marshmallows and spaghetti. Some of these challenges proved more difficult than others but every day in conference, we learned about a different inventor who had to try, try again before they succeeded. Hopefully, that is the message the kids took home. On Friday, a school bus took us to the Science Centre. The children would have easily spent the whole day watching the Rube Goldberg machine but we did see a few other exhibits as well.
I hope to see some of these bright, keen energetic young minds in after school science this year. Next week we begin our French Camp.