A different kind of camp

Jul. 13, 2013 @ 05:00 AM

Robots, chemistry experiments and explosions aren’t normal summer camp activities, but Kidsenses doesn’t care.

Kidsenses Children’s Museum in Rutherfordton held a Science Academy Summer Camp for rising third through fifth graders this week. Everyday from 12:30-4:30 p.m. the campers gathered at the museum and learned different aspects of STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics).

“It’s been awesome and the kids have worked so hard this week,” said Joseph Knight, director of education at Kidsenses.

The camp was modeled after the After School Science Academy that the museum held over six weeks in February and March. During the camp, students conducted an elephant toothpaste experiment, put on a chemistry show where they ignited hydrogen gas and created an explosion using Pepsi and Diet Coke.

“The best part was exploding the soda. It went really high,” said camper Melody Maishman.

The most popular and challenging part of the week was when the campers built and programmed their own robots.

“My favorite part was the robotics. The kids worked hard and at times during the building it was challenging. To see the expressions on their faces after completing the challenge was great,” Knight said. “They awarded themselves for the work by being able to program their robots to do different tasks.”

One camper, Jeffrey Parker, said he might want to pursue a career where he makes robots in the future.

“I love science. It’s fun and I get to make creations and experience things,” Parker said.

At the end of the day on Friday, each camper received a certificate and was officially named a Kidsenses junior scientist.

“As a junior scientist it is their job to be communicating with friends and family and telling them what they’ve learned. That way maybe they can inspire them to pursue more science,” Knight said.

The museum is in the process of planning another science academy and will provide information to the public as soon as possible.

“We are very pleased with the science academy. It’s been an awesome opportunity for the kids,” Knight said.