Discover how to send secret messages to your friends using special codes! Children learn how to talk with numbers, just like computers, and create their very own code "crackers"! In the afternoon, they become detectives and use their Mad Science observational skills to discover the writer of the "Mystery Letter"
Become a Mad Science chemist as you learn all about the chemistry things that you encounter everyday in your house and school. Discover how chemical reactions are everywhere and how you can figure out if a chemical change has occurred right before your very eyes. Mix, mush and brew together different chemicals to create things that you can use in this hands-on outdoor chemistry lab.
What holds atoms and molecules together? What happens to these bonds during chemical reactions? Mad scientists will use this day to study chemical reactions in depth. These reactions will include those that give off heat (exothermic), reactions that require heat (endothermic), reactions that proceed at a very fast pace, reactions that “go to far” and must try to return “home” (to equilibrium), and reactions that proceed in spite of the fact that they shouldn’t.
Explore fundamental “nuts and bolts” of chemistry, starting with the principle of “chemically counting” using the chemists’ unit of measure, a mole. Figure out the contents of a mystery solution using standard chemical reactions, and then campers will apply the principles of analysis in assaying real, off-the-shelf pain relief tablets for aspirin content. Cool molecular model building introduces chemical structure and bonding, and electrochemistry rounds out the day. The topics here range from creating electrical current using chemical systems (exactly as a battery does) to plating (chemically bonding) one metal onto another.
At the Scene of the Crime…
The beginning of the day introduces the campers to the notion of observation and its importance as part of the scientific method. A mock crime scene is examined, information is presented in many formats, and the challenge is to sort and sift through the data in an effort to solve the "crime". Several forensic techniques are also employed toward this effort. The end of the day brings about a conclusion to the "crime", followed by a recap of the information and methods used to ascertain what actually happened.