By Stephanie Bunker
Moapa Valley Progress
The Parks and Recreation staff in Moapa has been holding a kids’ science camp class every week on Tuesday afternoons. Science Camp is a fun time for kids to do easy, yet fascinating experiments with household items. It is held for one hour a week but the staff has maximized the time with many activities. So far the 10 kids in Science camp have met together for three weeks and have learned about magnets, bubbles, and optical illusions.
On Tuesday, July 10 it was optical illusion day at the camp. The kids started out by looking at a picture of an optical illusion.
Jenny Wood teaches Science Camp, she demonstrated the bird cage illusion, she had a bird cage depicted on one side of a piece of paper, and a bird depicted on the other side with a piece of yarn attached to the edges. When she twisted up the picture and yarn then let it spin, it looked as if the bird was in the cage. Several of the kids tried this neat little trick and thought it was fascinating.
Wood and Robbie Lindsey showed the kids how to make their own kaleidoscopes. They took a cardboard cylinder and placed a mirror folded into a triangle inside the cylinder, then they just placed beads inside.
Camp Director and Parks and Rec Coordinator, Gail Lindsey then brought out an experiment that would take a little more time to complete. She had an egg and a jar of vinegar. Lindsey told the kids that if she put the egg in the jar of vinegar for a week the egg shell would fall off, leaving the clear membrane attached. They will see what happens to the egg next week.
The last couple weeks Science Camp activities have been creative and easy to do with household items.
“We find all of this stuff off of Pinterest,” Lindsey said.
Last week the kids learned how to make their own bubbles. Lindsey and Wood had several different ways of making bubbles out of dish soap and dry ice. By placing dry ice in a 5 gallon Sparklets bottle and putting a vacuum hose over the top, they created gaseous bubbles. They dipped the end of the hose in dish soap then waited for the gas from the dry ice to fill and make a bubble.
“I would let the kids pop the bubble and you could see the gas escape,” Lindsey said.
Another activity they did was to make long bubbles with a water bottle. They cut off the end of a water bottle and put a piece of dish rag soaked in dish soap over the end. This would create longer bubbles. Lindsey put food coloring on the rag and made rainbow bubbles. When the kids popped the bubbles on a piece of paper, it made an interesting design.
Science Camp kids have also learned about magnets, they learned what kinds of materials magnets stick to and also about the North and South poles of a compass.
“All of the experiments we do are so much fun, and really cool looking,” Lindsey said. “We just do stuff they can do at home with their parents. All of it is do it yourself and pretty simple.”
Science Camp is always a popular class for Parks and Recreation. “We only take 10 kids because we can‘t handle any more than that,” Wood said. “Sometimes we have to do two classes because a lot of kids are interested in it, and they have a blast.”