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Science and Adventure Summer Camp 2020

Friday, July 17, 2020

After saying good-bye to parents and resting during the 2-hour bus ride, our group settled in quickly at the hotel, played some team building activities with other children, and went over the general rules for behavior and hygiene. 

After the games, everyone went up to their rooms to settle in and unpack, made our beds, and got organized for the week. Everyone was happy with their roommates! :) 

At dinner we learned how to follow the cafeteria instructions and everyone ate well. On the menu was chicken noodle soup, cooked spinach, salad, sliced pork, and broiled zucchini with fruit for dessert. 

At 10:00 the Night Science Show started, giving a short history of the world and the importance of science, and by now, everyone is in bed (but maybe not yet asleep).

Today started with an 8 am wake up call, and it was easy for most of our students to get up and get ready. Everyone had between 7-8 hours, not bad for the first night! 

We spent the morning playing games outside in gorgeous weather, cool and sunny. The pictures will show how much fun everyone had -- soccer with a giant ball, human Battleship, racing, and other team games. 

After lunch the rain started but we were all warm and dry indoors. Dani did a quick review / introduction of the scientific method (hypothesis, observation, and experiment) which we will use all week. Students practiced applying the scientific method with three experiments using liquid nitrogen and balloons, sound waves and instruments, and a cup of water and gravity. 

Then we had an invited speaker, a researcher in Barcelona studying the coronavirus, who explained very cool facts about the virus and the differences between viruses and bacteria. Then, over to The Lab to collect samples of bacteria and viruses and fungi from ourselves and our environment. These samples are now growing in petri dishes and in a few days we will be able to identify what we found. Afterwards, everyone had the chance to design and make their own coronavirus!  

After the science projects, they had some quiet time to hang out in their rooms, then an optional zumba class, followed by dinner.  To end the day, night games in the woods with flashlights! 

We spent the morning learning about chemistry and all the different ways it affects our lives and learned to tell the difference between changes in states of matter and chemical reactions. Our first experiment was testing the acidity of various liquids and seeing how they reacted to red cabbage juice (depending on the acidity, different colored liquids are produced). Then, of course, for the greatest of all chemical reactions, we made slime and learned why 3 simple ingredients turn to slime when added together. 

After lunch, the older students went to do archery while the younger students did some wall climbing. The plan was for each group to try each activity but it started to rain hard. We will try to find another time during the week to finish these two challenges.  

During the rain storm, we had a snack and played card games and board games. The rain stopped a few hours later and after dinner we met up with Dani again for an evening science show about how chemical reactions determine what fireworks do and look like. The evening ended with an implosion!

We took off at 10 am for a 2-hour hike to the ropes course and ran into a deer on the way.  The group had a blast doing the ropes course and everyone made it to the end. (Some kids really wanted me to take videos to send to their parents!)  

We still had time before lunch to hunt in the forest for biology specimens that we brought back to the hotel and will look at with microscopes tomorrow. We collected tree sap, flowers and other plants, rain water, dirt, and some very unlucky spiders, ants and beetles. 

After our picnic lunch we took the cable car up to the highest point of La Molina where there is a spectacular view. As you will see from the photos, it was so foggy at the top that we could barely see in front of us. It was also very cold so we took a few pictures and headed right back down in the warm cable cars. 

The kids had done a lot of walking so a bus picked us up and took us back to the hotel. They still had energy for a soccer game before evening showers!  After dinner, Dani prepared another evening science show. Tonight we got to experiment with a Rubens' Tube while playing different kinds of music. 

We spent the morning outdoors, first doing an orienteering game where teams had to locate 10 flags hidden throughout the nearby fields. Then the older group was able to do the wall climbing and then both groups tried out different kinds of scooters and played scooter-football. 

After lunch we got to hang out with Dani and learned about how electricity was discovered and about how electricity and conductivity works. We used a Leyden Jar to create static electricity that passed through our own bodies. We took a short break outside to look at different fossils and then went to the Lab to use the microscopes to look at the various samples we had collected during the week. 

In the evening we had some free time to play outside, and after dinner, went to the field for Night Games like Team Tag with flashlights. 

Another beautiful day for the last full day of camp! This morning during the science workshop we talked about flight and how flying and traveling will change in the future, mostly using magnets and plastics. We did various experiments to show how air works and how powerful magnets help objects levitate. 

In the Lab we had to figure out how to make a pen levitate using magnets. This was pretty tricky and it took a while to get it right! Afterwards, we checked on our samples that continue to grow in the petri dishes. 

The afternoon involved a lot of different activities. First, we tried the slackline. Then we had a talent show using circus props, but first we had to learn how to use them. Then we went biking around the hotel and through the soccer field. Finally, a little free time to play basketball and soccer until showers and dinner. 

Tonight Dani did one last night of experiments with chemicals that glow in the dark. Afterwards, a disco party to end the week, and off to bed!