The summer may be drawing to a close, but we’re going out with a bang with Session 4: Weird Science! From creating art with chemical reactions to tagging and releasing Monarch butterflies, campers spent this session exploring a full range of scientific concepts. We had a great time hosting Dennis and Vincent from Living Glass (https://www.livingglasslabs.com/), who taught us about self-sustaining ecosystems and carnivorous plants. In addition to bringing in guest speakers – we love to draw on the talents of our amazing camp staff – and everyone had a blast learning about animal superpowers with our counsellor, Norbert!
What happens when you mix white glue, contact lens solution, baking soda and vinegar? You get volcano slime! This surprising chemical reaction was almost as fun as elephant toothpaste, which campers also got to experience with their salt dough volcanoes. The Sophomores experimented with non-newtonian fluids and growing crystals from supersaturated solutions. But it wasn’t all chemistry this session – the Sophomores got to learn about long-exposure photography through light painting with our photographers, and they loved learning about dinosaurs and creating their own cardboard dino heads with Olivia!
After raising Monarch butterflies over the course of the summer, we were so excited to host David West, Richmond Hill City Councillor, to talk about the yearly migration of these incredible creatures and help us tag our butterflies before releasing them on their journey to Mexico! The Juniors also had the opportunity to explore the intersection of electricity and chemistry, soldering simple circuits to test the conductivity of different liquids, and using Micro:bits to monitor soil moisture in their bean plants. We can’t forget about the hands-on design challenges – the Juniors excelled at creating earthquake-resistant structures and then testing their designs on a shake table!
Like the Juniors, the Seniors had the chance to learn about block coding through programming Micro:bits with Lily. They were blown away by Aarinie’s “fire snake”, a dramatic dehydration reaction where a black “snake” gradually emerges from sugar, baking soda and sand! The Seniors took the gold medal in our stock market campwide game, earning the highest returns from their investments of STEAM bucks in our STEAM Project “companies”! After the huge success of making pillows in Session 3, we wanted to give the seniors more opportunities to use the sewing machines, and they had a great time making bucket hats with Veronica.
Our session 3 and 4 CITs were adopted by the Sophomore and Junior cabins this session. They thrived taking on this new responsibility, and the counsellors and instructors were appreciative of their positivity, spirit and helpfulness! They had so much fun beating the heat with their cabins on water day. In between leadership training, planning their Mission Impossible campwide game and working on their cheer, they have been hard at work on their personal projects! Everyone is intrigued when the CITs are sawing, hammering, soldering and gluing away in the workshop. The sheer variety of their projects and the passion they bring to their work is truly inspiring. As we wrap up the summer, it’s heartwarming to see our CITs end on a high note, and we are looking forward to continuing our CIT program next year!