Thursday, August 23, 2007

Holiday Science Learning Camp- Day Four

Rocket launches, engineering challenges, and simple optics- today was physics theme day at the Holiday Science Learning Camp at MCEDO school. Under the burning sun (fickle weather this week), students learned about properties of matter, light, and heat, and tested their knowledge through fun experiments.

Working with certified teachers, students studied light, matter, work, heat, electricity, and sound.

Students use engineering concepts to retrieve an egg

In the sessions with young volunteers, students conducted a variety of experiments.

They guessed which objects would float or sink in water, learning about density and how to make hypotheses. Students investigated the phases of matter using various solids, liquids, and gases. Students then experimented with how light moves. We observed how light moves in a straight line. Using objects such as balloons, rulers, and salt, volunteers taught students about static electricity.

Other popular experiments included the rocket launch and engineering challenge. Groups learned to launch a small rocket using antacid and water in a film canister. We explained Newton’s three laws of motion and how they apply to the launch of a rocket.
Students experiment with gases

In the engineering challenges, students had to think hard about problem solving as they figured out how to retrieve an egg suspended from the ceiling using only a few obscure materials- without breaking the egg of course. Teams of six also had to work together to carry a cup of water suspended from a rubber band and six strings, and then to pour the water into a basin on the ground, touching only the ends of the strings. Students were creative in their plans, and were interested in the field of engineering.
CEK Education Director Evalyn defies gravity

We closed the day by singing what are now camp favorites: the banana song, MCEDO disco song, and Old Kireboto (not sure how you spell this Kenyan version of OldMcDonald) Had a Farm.
MCEDO students are enjoying being at the camp all day. Their admiration for the volunteers is evident,
and we are forming real friendshipd.
Comments from the student evaluations completed on Tuesday included: “I love science”, and “I want to learn more science.”
Cosmos Education Kenya is fulfilling its mission to inspire, engage, and empower students in science.

Students look at the movement of light

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