Local Youngsters Attend Mount Union Science Camp
June 22, 2015
ALLIANCE, Ohio – The ninth annual summer science camp was held on Mount Union’s campus last week. This five-day camp invites area fourth, fifth and sixth graders to campus to learn how they can put science into practice and have fun while doing it.
The camp features experiments throughout the week that emphasize various fields of science. The event was led by Mount Union faculty members Dr. Scott Mason, professor of chemistry and pre-health program director and Dr. Sheryl Mason, assistant professor of chemistry and biochemistry. They were assisted by Dr. Keith Miller, assistant professor of chemistry and biochemistry, Marlington senior Sarah Mason and Andrea Williams, administrative assistant.
The camp’s first experiment consisted of performing the chemical reaction used commercially to make aspirin, collecting the aspiring product, and then performing another reaction to test its purity.
The next day, the group followed up with an experiment using five Mentos to one two-liter bottle of Diet Coke to make a fountain. Pairs of students were then asked to change one variable of the experiment and measure the height of the resulting fountain to see if the changed variable affected the height of the fountain.
On Wednesday, campers headed to Mount Union’s Huston-Brumbaugh Nature Center to perform reactions of acids on different materials such as metals and marble. In addition, they collected water samples from different locations at the Nature Center and determined their acidity by measuring pH levels. The purpose of these experiments was to show participants the effects of acid on the environment.
On Thursday, students learned about physics as they created containers to protect eggs from a drop from the second floor of Bracy Hall to the first floor. Eggs that survived the initial drop were then tested by being dropped from atop Bracy Hall.
On the last day of camp, participants put on a demonstration program for family and friends. Each pair of students practiced a chemistry demonstration in the lab, then during the last hour of camp performed and explained it to the audience. The final demonstration consisted of making liquid nitrogen ice cream and serving it to the audience.
Some of the goals of the camp are allowing the students the opportunity to use a university laboratory, perform real experiments, learn about different fields of science, practice safety procedures and put what they learn into practice.
“It is fun to see them excited about science at such an early age,” said Sheryl.
All of the profits from the camp go toward the Arthur Murdoch Research Fund, which assists Mount Union science undergraduate students as they perform summer research.