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News from the Digital Den with Stacey


This week in the Digital Den, our Extreme STEAM scientists were focusing on our theme of Exploration and Navigation. As we prepare for our 5th Annual Regatta, with our cardboard boats, we are learning about how the early explorers used the stars to navigate. The campers studied Polaris, the North Star because as the other stars seem to rotate around the night sky, Polaris remains fixed. Our campers learned that this is because Polaris is located directly above the Earth’s North Pole. We used digital planetariums to simulate the sky’s apparent movement throughout the evening. We created a StarFinder so that our campers can study the night sky at home, teach their family members how to locate Polaris and explain how to use this special star to navigate to the North. Later on in the week we celebrated Color War when we pretended to be space explorers and traveled on virtual field trips to the planets. Finally, our campers used our new Padcaster and green screen to interview each other for our upcoming video, “Extreme STEAM Smalltalk.” Check our new student gallery on our blog!


News from Robotics 1 with Juliana


I can’t believe we are already finished with Week 7 of Extreme STEAM Camp! This summer has flown by and I hope your children have enjoyed themselves! This last block’s theme is Exploration and Navigation and our ESSK campers have been so busy learning and exploring with DASH. In the beginning of the week we reviewed our directions, degrees and how a compass can help us navigate. We played “Simon Says” and gave our coders a list of commands to program such as “Make DASH turn East, then go North 100cm”. This was a very challenging game and they truly did an amazing job! We then reviewed all of the continents and the children drew their own maps! To finish the week we took the maps that they created, put compass necklaces around DASH and they navigated and coded their way around their world! I am so proud of how much our ESSK campers have accomplished these last few weeks!


News from Robotics 2 with Alan


For this week, our campers explored the theme, “The Science of Exploration and Navigation.” Our campers designed and built a two-wheel drive maze-solving robot. One of the challenges the campers faced was to make the robot car very compact and small enough to fit the maze. Instead of DC motors, the campers used two continuous servo motors which reduced the size of the robot. In addition, the campers learned a wall-following algorithm, which is how the program navigates the robot to go through the maze autonomously. By working on this project, our campers learned simple localization and mapping of a mobile robot.


News from Engineering with Kyle


This week our engineering campers prepared for next week’s boat racing regatta! We designed and created cardboard boats our campers will race across the pool. We researched basic designs of boats and spent the first day making a smaller scale prototype with a single sheet of aluminum foil and nothing else. Obviously the most important thing in a boat is being able to keep out water. In addition, campers were challenged to see how many pennies their boats could hold without sinking. Some campers tried making their boats as big as possible to hold as many pennies as they could, others folded their aluminum foil to try and make the hull stronger. We then tested our prototypes to see how much weight they could hold by loading pennies into them one by one until they sunk. Our record was 78 pennies by Mr. Hunter!


News from Science with Tina


This week we started our fourth and final ESSK block, the Science of Exploration and Navigation. In keeping with the theme, this week we discovered a safe way to view the sun and that there are dark spots around the sun called umbra. These are areas of the sun’s surface that are cooler. We were able to see some spots using our cardboard viewers. We discovered a cool trick to navigate North, South, East or West using a watch with an hour hand and the sun. Since we have the upcoming Regatta, we investigated buoyancy using oranges, coins and rubber bands. We also made our own baking soda fueled boats and raced them as practice. We continue to keep busy in the Science Lab caring for our animal friends and tending our many gardens. Although the summer at ESSK is winding down, we still have many fun and educational activities planned.


News from Artistic Design with Lisa


For our Science of Exploration and Navigation block, our campers put on their thinking caps and experimented with a variety of materials and ideas. For our first class, we blasted off into space and created our own galaxies! Some were realistic depictions of our home, the Milky Way, while others decided to take the more imaginative route and made planets shaped like ducks, minions and flamingos. Everyone started by using watercolors to create an outer space color palette. Then, each child used black glue to outline their planets and learned about resistance and raised surfaces. Lastly, to make their projects out of this world, we added glitter glue to truly make them interstellar. For our second activity, the campers were introduced to scratch paper. They were asked to design and etch their favorite place they have or would like to explore in the future. For our last and final project, everyone was presented with the challenge of creating their own one of a kind rockets. We attached their constructions to makeshift “launchers” and took them outside to see just how far our rockets could travel. Overall, we have learned so much about what it means to explore and navigate while stretching our imaginations beyond just what we know!