Chemapalooza 6-22: Ooey Gooey
Silly slime and smiling faces! Students became Chemical Polymer Interns for Ooey Gooey Toy Company today. While creating their own Play Doh, Putty, Goo, and Oobleck substances, our interns learned about polymers and heterogeneous mixtures. They used that knowledge to make a new toy for the company, a bouncy ball, by using the ingredients from the previous slimes.
Ask your student: What type of substance is Play Doh? (Suspension) What kind of molecules are in Putty and Goo? (Polymers) What substance gives Goo its sliminess? (Borax)
Chemapalooza 6/21: Water Beads
Today, in Chemapalooza, the students investigated the nature of water beads. Our little chemists used the scientific method to design their own experiment and create a hypothesis on how they predict different liquids or different concentrations of liquids would have an impact on the growth-size of water beads. As the week progresses, the students will continue to work through the experiment and analyze their results and ultimately evaluate their hypothesis.
Ask your student:
What is osmosis? (Osmosis is a special type of diffusion- movement of water across a barrier form high to low concentration)
What is an independent variable? (An independent variable is the variable you are testing in an experiment: it is the variable that is changed)
Chemapalooza – 6/20: Magic Messages and Liquid Nitrogen Ice Cream!
Today, students became chemical investigators to discover the concepts of pH and acids/bases.Our junior chemical scientists observed color changes during reactions using common household materials. Students also wrote invisible messages to friends!
Ask your student: What are examples of acidic liquids? What are examples of basic liquids? (Acidic: tomato juice, acid rain, battery fluid; Basic: milk, eggs, soapy water)
Chemapalooza – 6/19: Molecular Gastronomy
Today students trained to become a budding chef in an emerging culinary style known as Molecular Gastronomy. Exploring how science and art can mix, students used the scientific principles of Molecular Gastronomy to create visually appealing and texturally unique foods, and explored two foodie experiments. By the end of the lesson, students became quite knowledgeable in the growing field!
Ask your student:
What is the process of thickening a liquid so it doesn’t melt in its new solid form? (Gelification)
What is the process of creating gelified pearls? (Spherification)
Get your green on as you explore how STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) is a part of everything around us.
This program will give your student an integrated exposure to the various STEM fields and how they can be applied within an environmental context.
Explorations will include hand-on activities on the chemistry of recycling, solar and water power, and energy transfer.
The week will culminate in an environmental engineering project where students will use these real-world STEM concepts to design, build, and improve their own energy-efficient house.
REGISTRATION FOR THIS PROGRAM IS STILL OPEN! Click your location below to register!
Aurora (closes 6/30)
Belleville (closes 6/9)
Springfield (closes 6/30)
Does it fizz, bubble, or flame? Is it a solid, liquid, or gas? What happens if you add a bit of this and some of that?
Find out as you conduct experiments to explore the chemistry of food, physical states of matter, the magic in chemical reactions, and the cool properties of water.
Activities include creating new foods, making ice cream, growing crystals, and making slime. Run experiments, see reactions, and collect data as you learn about the intriguing elements on our Periodic Table.
Summer 2017 is Almost Here!
We are gearing up for summer 2017 and we are so excited to have all of you!
As we get closer to the start of our programs, here is some information that might be helpful to you.
- The program day begins at 8:30 a.m. and runs to 3:00 p.m. Morning drop-off/check in begins at 8:15 a.m. – and concludes at 8:30 a.m. Do NOT drop your child off prior to 8:15, as there will be so supervision available before this time.
- Monday morning check-in: On the first day of the program, it is mandatory for parents to park and walk their participant to the summer program staff for first-day check-in. Your child will be assigned to a group leader who will be their same leader throughout the week.
- Lunch is included in the program fee and provided through our food service, Sodexho. They offer many options for students, including burgers, macaroni and cheese, a salad bar, fresh fruit, and many other items. You may choose to send your child with a sack lunch if you prefer. Please note: the cafeteria is NOT a peanut free environment.
- Pick up is promptly at 3:00 PM. We do not provide extended care. Please be timely and prompt with drop off and pick up for the best and safest experience for every participant. Our personnel need to prepare for the next day after day programs end at 3:00 p.m.
- Late Pickup Fee: IMSA day programs end at 3 p.m. Any parent/guardian picking up a child late will be assessed a fee of $15 per child for any pickup 15 minutes late and $1 per minute thereafter. Late fees are due on the child’s next day of camp.
- Residential program check-in begins at 6:00 PM on the Sunday before the program start date. The entrance will change based on which dorms the students will be in. Please make note of this in your pre-program email!
- Please plan on arriving to pick up your child between 1:45-1:55 p.m. the following Friday(the last day of the program). There will be a 30 minute program presentation/wrap-up starting promptly at 2:00 pm.
- We do not honor requests to pair or group friends or relatives during their class during the day; however, they will have the opportunity to mingle during common activities such as lunch and free time. Program participants are grouped at random to encourage a positive learning experience, meeting new friends while engaging in program activities.
- We DO take requests for roommates. Friends or relatives (of the same gender) can be paired as roommates if both parties request each other by sending an email to us a email@example.com. Please include the program name and week offered, your child’s name, and the name of the child being requested as a roommate. We must receive this at least 10 days before the first date of your program to accommodate it.
- Your child will be assigned to a group leader who will be their same leader throughout the week.
BioSleuths @ Springfield – Friday: Forensic Entomology
Today, students continued their study of forensic entomology: the use of knowledge of insects to help solve criminal investigations. Our junior investigators learned how forensic entomologists use the life cycle of maggot-laying flies in order to determine the exact time of death of a victim. In order to observe the life cycle in action, students examined their canned chicken samples from Monday.
In addition, the biosleuths used the knowledge they had gained about forensic entomology to solve crime scene situations!
Ask your student:
What exactly are maggots? (fly larva)
How can forensic scientists use maggots to estimate time of death? (life stages of a fly take a known amount of time)
BioSleuths @ Springfield – Thursday: Grasshopper Dissection – External
Today, our young anatomy investigators set their sights on grasshoppers! Students mainly focused on the grasshopper’s appendages and other features that were easily visible, observing how the structure of each part might enable it to function most efficiently. Our biosleuths even got the chance to identify some correct or incorrect features on famous cartoon insects like Jiminy Cricket!
Students will continue their grasshopper dissections tomorrow by exploring the internal features of the same insects they worked on today.
Ask your student:
What are the three body segments of the grasshopper called? (head, thorax, and abdomen)
Why are the grasshopper’s back legs different from its front legs? (they need to be bigger for jumping)
Biosleuths @ Springfield – Wednesday: Beak Design Challenge
Have you ever thought about why birds’ have such different beaks? Your student can help you answer that question! One of the areas that they learned about today was different bird beaks and how they are designed. Using different tools or “beaks” students tried to “eat” a certain food item and move it to a bowl, or the “stomach” of the bird. Students had to figure out which beak worked best for each food item. Students then used logic and creativity to design their own beak that would allow them to eat a food of their choosing.
Ask your student:
What beak function might be best for eating seeds? (cracking).
What sort of food might a probing beak be well-suited for? (insects, worms, crustaceans).