Mary Tran: Camp Discovery’s Ultimate Explorations at Discovery Cube OC #DiscoveryCubeMoms
Yesterday I went over all the fun we had at Camp Discovery’s The Zoo & You Camp at the Santa Ana Zoo. As one of the Discovery Cube Moms ambassadors, I wanted to observe Ultimate Explorations Camp which is held onsite at the Discovery Cube OC. This week-long camp is designed for ages 7 to 10, is held in a classroom setting, and is between 9:00 am – 2:30 pm. A new subject is explored each day, teamwork is encouraged during themed projects, and they also get to play at the Cube every day.
On the first day, after they went over camp rules, they played a fun silly game to break the ice. Then they explored the science of Sounds. The instructor had them close their eyes to see if they can identify certain sounds. They played the Telephone Game to demonstrate how words can sound differently as they travel from person to person. Then they built a Lung Model before visiting the Sound of the Game exhibit to learn Frequency and Amplitude. They came back to build a Voice Visualizer which included a laser light. If you can make an 8, you have the perfect pitch! They also made phone with strings.
The day started out with an electrifying demonstration from a guest speaker. Campers learned about open and closed circuits. They discussed the difference between Telsa Tower versus Edison bulbs, and they compared the LED bulb to the Edison bulb. After the demonstration, they tested various materials to determine if they were insulators (rubbers) or conductors (paper clip, switch, foil, etc). They then worked together as a team with Snap Circuit Kits to work on three projects – power a light bulb, power a siren, and then power to launch a helicopter. (I want to get that kit for Christmas). They also built a Porch Light which they powered with a battery and used a paper clip as switch. The surprise of the day was taking home a mini-robot kit (solar powered) to build with parents.
Campers learned about paleontologists today, and spent the morning looking for hidden fossils on their Dino Quests. They were given the option to work individually or as a team. When they returned to the classroom, they made their own fossils from a seashell, and they puzzled together dry pasta to recreate a skeleton of a stegosaurus dinosaur. They also examined a sand dollar to their ancestor, a Hemiaster.
Thursday: CSI Campers explored chemical reactions by testing pH levels in water, vinegar, soda water, and watered down ammonia with powders like baking soda, salt, sugar, and citric acid. They also examined the characteristics of fingerprints (arch, loop, whirl), and even learned how to lift a fingerprint using lotion, fingerprint dust, and tape. Who did it? They had to memorize facial characteristics within seconds, and then identifying the suspect in a book. It was surely a mysterious day!
Friday: Chemistry Day! On the last day, the children made their own mini-lava lamps with oil, water, food color, and alka-selzter. They made a gooey substance with glue, borax, and food coloring. Do you like your lemonade really sweet, sour, or both? Campers had to add their own sugar, salt, and citric acid to taste. They also compared the three under a magnifying glass. One of the last thing they learned that day was how to make ice cream with milk, vanilla abstract, and sugar.
At the end, campers received a certificate of completion. It was my pleasure to follow the campers around all week long. The instructors and volunteers were really fun and knowledgeable. The children seemed happy and wanted to participate. Some of the themes mentioned above may or may not change next year. The Discovery Cube OC is located at 2500 N Main St in Santa Ana, CA. There are several other camp programs available. For more information, please visit their website at www.discoverycube.org or call (714) 542-2823.
This blog post was written by and all the photos are by Mary Tran. You can read her blog, Let’s Play OC, here.