Astro Camp!

Rm. 24

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Microgravity by Kate & Eliza

Microgravity was a class about how it it would feel in space if you had to leave the space shuttle to fix something. This was also teaching us what we had to do to communicate in space since we can't talk because there is no sound in space.

It took place in the pool. So before we got in the pool we got set up with another 5th grade class. We were told that we were supposed to create a cube out of some objects. Since we can't talk in space, we made up our own sign language to use underwater.

Before we got in the pool, the instructors taught us how to put on our wetsuits. It was cold before we put our wet suits on. When we had our snorkel, mask, and wet suit we got separated from the other 5th grade class. They got put in another part of the pool. The pool was so big and it felt oddly, warm and cozy.

Darcy (our camp leader) put us in groups of three. We got one bag full of the supplies. In our groups, we worked together using sign language and teamwork. We also had to float in the pool, so it would be like we had no gravity. If we touched the ground, Mr.Trusso would hit us in the head with a noodle, it was so funny!

Later on, when we were almost finished, the pool started to get cold. My teeth were chattering as I hugged myself for warmth. My teammates and I attached the objects to make a cube.

When we were finished, we placed all the cubes together and we made a group cheer, we said it as loud as possible so the other group could hear us (oh, and we were allowed to talk at that point).

We learned a lot from this class. We learned that astronauts can't talk in space so they need sign language. We learned what it felt like with no gravity. And we learned an important skill: Teamwork!

Rockets by Quin, Rylee, & Aidan

At AstroCamp, we built and launched rockets. Not real ones though, that's crazy. Our rockets were 2 liter soda bottles that were decorated with cardboard fins, a clay nose, and saran wrap around the clay nose. We put the wrap around the clay nose so the clay did not get dirty. We built our rockets inside.

When it was time to launch our rockets, we went out to a dirt area in the meadow. Here's how it worked...There were three launchers for three different groups. There were three people timing how long the rockets stayed in the air. The launchers would have to go find their rockets when they landed. Everyone got to launch their rocket.

Rylee went to get her rocket after she launched it and she was running then scraped her knee on a plant. The plant is called stinging nettle. The welts looks like poison ivy at first but it doesn't itch like crazy or sting; it only stings for one second and that's when you first get it. That's what happened during rockets! Sounds interesting doesn't it?!

Space Night by Zoey & Charlotte

We went to space night the first day that we got to AstroCamp. Space night is where you hike to a special spot with extra powerful telescopes and you get to look at different planets and constellations. It is really cool.

On the way we got to see a tree called the "Grandmother Tree." It is a huge tree that caught on fire but the tree is so big it strangled the fire and the fire didn't kill the tree but it did hollow the base so AstroCamp had to cut it down. Today you can look at where it is hollow. It was so cool!

We got to see the seven sister which is a group of stars that are together. They’re in a story with Orion. When we got to the site Darcy ,our instructor, told us the rules and we got to see through small, binocular like telescopes, one huge white one (which was much more powerful than the smaller ones), and one electric one. With the electric one we got to see a supernova, a plant that will explode soon (between the two weeks to two million years), and a Nebula which is a forming planet. The nebula looks like a bunch of colorful gas. It was amazing! We also got to see Venus through the electric telescope. It looked red and very beautiful. We learned Venus is the second planet from the Sun, orbiting it every 224.7 Earth days. It is named after the Roman goddess of love and beauty, Aphrodite.

We talked about dwarf plants. What makes a planet is that it orbits a star, it is spherical a shape and the one which a dwarf planet does not have it having its own orbit path which means at one point it touches another plants orbit.

Orion is a constellation that was named by the people who read stories and looked to the stars and connect the dots or stars. His story is, when Orion ,the best hunter in the world, saw the seven sisters (another constellation) he fell in love with not only one but all of them. The seven sisters were disgusted and they got a bull that protected them from Orion. Orion being the best hunter in the world wanted to fight the bull. They are still fighting today. Orion also had a dog and a sword which he is using on the charging bull. Orion has a by small triangle head and a normal body size. Most people notice Orion's Belt that is very large around his waist. We also got to see the Big/ Little Dipper. The Big Dipper looks like a cup or big spoon dipping down. The Little Dipper is almost like a teaspoon dipping into space.We got to learn more on our North Star. Sailors used this star to navigate.

We were very lucky to get a chance to see the moon up close. We saw it through a telescope and it was very, very bright. We got to see the creators and its shape. It takes our moon exactly one day to orbit our planet, Earth. When we were at the telescopes we got to see Jupiter and its three moons. Jupiter is the biggest planet in our galaxy. We talked about galaxies and learned that there are infinite because space goes on forever.

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Atmoshphere & Gases by Remie & Evan

In atmosphere and gases we learned what's in our atmosphere here on Earth and what's in Mars's atmosphere. We also learned hydrogen is flammable.

We did some fun activities to demonstrate how different gasses in the atmosphere affect us and every day objects. We put Lay's chips into liquid nitrogen, and when we ate them it we were able to breath steam because it was so cold. Also we put a balloon full of nitrogen in liquid nitrogen and then Darcy ( Darcy was are instructor) threw the balloon on the floor and all the air looked like it had deflated, but the nitrogen got pushed right back in.

After that we put things in a vacuum chamber and some of these things were marshmallows, bouncy balls and balloons. Another thing we did is we got a container and filled it with carbon dioxide to represent Mars's atmosphere, and we tried to breathe and it felt like soda was in are noses.

Lastly, we did this thing where we had to determine which balloons were filled with which gases. The first test was to see which balloons floated because only one would. The next step was to set them on fire because only one of the gases was flammable. The gases were helium, hydrogen, and nitrogen. Helium floated and hydrogen set on fire.

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Lights and Lasers by Aidan, Quin, & Rylee

This class was really fun because we learned that there is a switch in our brain that makes us see correctly. When light enters our eyes the picture is reversed and everything is upside down. We were able to wear these goggles that turned the switch off and we played games while the world appeared to be upside down. It was hard!

Then, we got to take a picture as a class on a green wall and you turn on a purple light and take a picture and you step off the wall and the shadow of you and your classmates is on the wall. It was a phosphorescent wall. Then, we got to take a purple flashlight and rub it against the wall and you could write on the wall with the flashlight.

Now on to lasers. In the lasers subject there was a laser going wall to wall and if you stuck your hand through it you would cut off the laser but you wouldn't get burned.

Lights and lasers was really cool and if you got to Astro Camp you really want to do Lights and Lasers.

Team Building by Zoey & Hannah

Zip Line:
This activity started off with a short walk to the beginning of the zip line. We each got numbers, harnesses, and helmets. We sat on a couple of logs in number order, waiting for our turn. When we were up, we had to carefully walk over a large rope netting that acted as a bridge and led to the platform where we jumped off, one by one. Because of the headwind, we had to curl up into a ball so we made it all the way to the ending platform. When we got to the end of the zip line cable, a counselor caught us and pulled us in to unhook us. The whole time we did this teachers and other students cheered us on. It was a great confidence exercise.

Power Pole:
The Power Pole was a large tree-sized pole. We were given harnesses and helmets and were given instructions on what to do. When it was our turn we were hooked to the rope system and started to climb the ladder and then eventually the pole. Using metal loops as hand and foot holds, we climbed to the top and tried to stand on the top. Then you would jump off the pole and try to hit a ball hanging from a cable a few feet away. Finally we were slowly lowered to the ground and unhooked. Hannah, the #1 cheerleader, was motivating for everyone. As they were being lowered, some students noticed acorns wedged into the pole by the acorn woodpeckers that were living in the area. This activity, like the zip line was an extreme confidence exercise.

Middle Name Game:
This game was an example of what it would be like to communicate in space without radios. We all stood shoulder to shoulder on a log. We had to organize ourselves in alphabetical order using our middle names. The challenge to this game was that we could not talk. Using hand signals and other types of simple communication we were able to organize ourselves. Sadly we were one name off and did not succeed. Afterwards, we decided that our class needed to work on communication.

Thank you Mr. Trusso!

We are so thankful that Mr. Trusso came with us as a chaperone. He was the best! He did all of the activities with us and made sure that we (the boys) went to bed on time. It was so nice of him to give up part of his week so that we could have fun and learn a lot at Astro Camp!