Join us for an exciting and educational adventure at the Plymouth Bluff Environmental Center from July 10-14, 8 a.m. to noon each day. Open to children aged 9-14 (younger and older campers may be considered), this Science Camp is generously offered free of charge thanks to MUW support and a NASA Inspires Futures for Tomorrow's Youth (NIFTY) grant presented by Twin Cities PBS (TPT) in partnership with the National Girls Collaborative Project, the Space Science Institute, and the NASA Langley Research Center, with funding from NASA. Space is limited to 20 eager young minds, so don't miss out! Register by June 21st. Please note that campers must pack their own snacks, but water fountains are available on-site at the Environmental Center. Our program will focus on science and mathematics in the context of space science, covering several different fields of study and including a visit by a NASA professional!
Dr. Davida Crossley, an Assistant Professor of Microbiology, will lead an activity that will investigate how life exists in water and soil, which would be analogous to how future scientists could find life on another planet. Students will extract DNA from fruit and collect soil samples from around Plymouth Bluff. Water will be percolated through their soil samples and plated on petri dishes to investigate what bacteria and fungi are present.
Dr. Bonnie Oppenheimer, Professor of Mathematics and the Chair of the Department of Sciences and Mathematics, will lead a discussion about why we count in base ten and learning how to count if we met aliens with a different number of fingers that use a different base system.
Activities about the physics and engineering of space travel will be led by Dr. Travis Hagey, an Assistant Professor of Biology. One day will emphasize energy storage and kinetic energy, having students construct and race “rubber band cars”. Our second physics day will highlight applied algebra to estimate rocket trajectories. Students will evaluate their mathematical calculations using toy “stomp rockets” in which students will drop weights of known mass onto air bladders to accelerate foam rockets into the air, using mathematical equations to estimate flight distances. Lastly, students will investigate deceleration and material properties, designing protective enclosures from cardboard, foam, and pipe cleaners, to hold a raw chicken egg. These enclosures will be dropped from different heights to evaluate how well their designs protect their fragile cargo.
As part of our planetary science and geology day, students will make their own fossil impressions using plaster of Paris, led by Michael Dodson, Instructor of Biology. Students will be able to observe locally collected marine fossils and hopefully collect some of their own. Plymouth Bluff has easily accessible fossil beds containing a rich supply of marine bivalve fossils.
We are especially excited to incorporate the wealth of accessible role models by including SciGirls videos. These videos show STEM role models discussing their jobs and will make it clear that all students may consider any of these careers. Images from the James Webb Space Telescope should be a daily experience for the NIFTY participants. We are also excited to invite a NASA STEM Role Model. This will be a great experience for our participants. It is not every day that students have an opportunity to engage with NASA in such a close intimate manner, asking questions and learning about what life is like as a NASA scientist.
The deadline to apply in June 21st.
QUESTIONS? Ask Dr. Bonnie Oppenheimer at firstname.lastname@example.org or (662) 329-7376.
Partially funded by Mississippi University for Women and a NASA Inspires Futures for Tomorrow's Youth grant.
The material contained in this document is based upon work supported by a National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) grant or cooperative agreement. Any opinions, findings, conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of NASA.