By Katie S.
Seventh grade GATE students along with four chaperones and Mr. Scott Smith attended AstroCamp on January 19-21st. It is located in Idyllwild, California. After the two hour bus ride, they were dropped off at AstroCamp in fifty degree weather, which later dropped below thirty degrees.
They participated in many STEM activities inside a classroom, as well as outdoor activities. Some engineering activities include building a cosmic lander. Students had to design a device that would get a water balloon to “mars” safely. The water balloon was dropped from the second story of a building, and the goal was to use a variety of supplies (paper, popcicle sticks, string, etc.) to build a cosmic lander that will get it to the floor without popping.
Another STEM activity students participated in was making bottle rockets. The body of the rocket was a two liter plastic bottle. To make a nose cone, they added a cone shaped block of clay to the top to add weight and to make the rocket more aerodynamic. Students also taped paper or cardboard fins to the rocket, which helped it fly straight. The bottle rockets were filled with air and water until the pressure built up enough, and then most of them shot about a hundred feet in the air!
Another STEM class was electricity and magnetism, where the kids learned about electric currents and high versus low voltage. They also learned about how magnets work.
Probably the most exciting activities that the students participated in were the zip line and the Sky Coaster. Ziplining was fun, but most kids thought that the Sky Coaster was even more fun. Among these students is Phoebe B., who has been going to AstroCamp’s summer program for five years now.
“I think Sky Coaster was the best ropes course activity, and it’s kind of what AstroCamp is known for. I’ve been on it more than ten times and it’s never gotten old,” said Phoebe.
The Sky Coaster is one of AstroCamp’s most popular classes.
“Working together, students pull each other up in the air to their desired height (maximum 40ft.). Then the student pulls on a ripcord and sails through the air!” (astrocamp.org).
Students also participated in a day hike, which takes you up a mountain trail. They learned all about different trees and plants on this hike. There was also a night hike on the last night, which was called “space night”. They hiked over to a bunch of telescopes and learned about galaxies, the stars, and different constellations.
Most people that attended this trip agreed that it was very fun, and they wish they could have stayed for longer. If these activities sound fun to you, they are only a small fraction of what is usually included at this camp. If you would like to find out what these are, you can totally go to Astrocamp over the summer! For more information about how you can attend this camp over the summer, visit http://astrocamp.org/.