Mission Impossible 8-4: Paper Bag Secret Challenge

Mission Impossible 8-4: Paper Bag Secret Challenge

Any good spy needs to know how to quickly escape from a tall building. Sometimes they will only have limited supplies to do so. The spies-in-training used what they learned throughout the week to build a successful zip line racer today! The campers looked at kinetic and potential energy in order to create enough thrust to carry their zip line racer through the sky. 

Ask your camper: What is thrust? Occurs when an object pushes against the air (or other gas/fluid) to create movement.

Springfield Program Pictures

E3 Extreme Engineering Explorations 8-4: Judobot Battle Royale

E3 Extreme Engineering Explorations 8-4: Judobot Battle Royale

After learning about hydraulics, pneumatics, pressure, and mechanical advantage throughout the week, and creating hydraulic systems to power their judobots, today in the mechanical engineering portion of E3 students put their creations to the test in a series of challenges.

Ask your student what the main differences are between pneumatic and hydraulic systems.

Springfield Program Pictures

Dream City 8-4: City Building

Dream City 8-4: City Building

Today the campers finalized their city designs and wrapped up their construction. They put together all their projects from the week, including their windmills, buildings, ramps, bridges, green space, and street lamps. We would like to congratulate all the campers on a wonderful and inspiring week of urban planning, problem-solving, and building. Mayor Darwin is extremely proud and impressed with all the new neighborhoods in IMSAtropolis! 

Ask your student what their favorite piece of their city was! 

Springfield Program Pictures

Dream City 8-3: I Dream of Green

Dream City 8-3: I Dream of Green

Green spaces in cities help provide a whole host of potential benefits for humans including improved physical and mental health, safer and stronger communities, and better local economies. In the Urban Planning portion of this program today students were introduced to the important role green spaces play in urban areas and were challenged to create at least five different kinds of plants to grow in the cities they are building.

Ask your student: How can we help ensure that our cities have healthy ecosystems with good biodiversity?

Springfield Program Pictures

Mission Impossible 8-3: Zoetropes

Mission Impossible 8-3: Zoetropes

Whether by land, sea, or air, spies are always on the move. They also need to be able to home in on small details as well as large ones. Understanding how our eyes perceive motion is extremely important as spies-in-training so no clues will be overlooked. To study this, the campers constructed a zoetrope! The zoetrope is a manual way to make a moving picture as was used before film and animation. 

Ask your camper: What is “persistence of vision?” it happens when our eyes cannot keep up with the speed of change between each image, and it refers to the length of time the retina retains an image.

Springfield Program Pictures

E3 Extreme Engineering Explorations 8-3: Rockets

E3 Extreme Engineering Explorations 8-3: Rockets

What is rocketry? It’s a branch of science that performs a study of, examination with, or use of rockets. It studies everything related to the design, construction, launching, and operation of rockets. Today in the Aerospace Engineering portion of this program, students performed an initial test launch of their rocket and then began repairs/revisions as they worked on identifying the factors (payload/mass of the rocket, location of the center of pressure and center of gravity, fin-type/shape/size/placement, and more) affecting rocket flight.

Ask your student what Newton’s second law of motion is.

Springfield Program Pictures

Dream City 8-2: Skyscraper Challenge

Dream City 8-2: Skyscraper Challenge

Today in the Skyscraper portion of this program students learned that the forces affecting skyscrapers come from many different sources including gravity, weather (e.g. wind, temperature changes), and other environmental phenomena (namely earthquakes). After the group brainstormed ways they thought skyscrapers are able to withstand earthquakes and high winds, they were challenged to make a building that was at least 2 feet tall that could withstand a “tornado” and an “earthquake.”   

Ask your student: why is it important for skyscrapers to have strong foundations?  

Springfield Program Pictures

E3 Extreme Engineering Explorations 8-1: Coin Flip

E3 Extreme Engineering Explorations 8-1: Coin Flip

Today in the Coding portion of this program, students began coding their first app of the week using the basic coding principles they learned yesterday and the App Lab platform from Code.org. They created a Coin Flip App which can help a person decide a host of yes/no, 50/50 questions, and were introduced to writing and reading Javascript.

Ask your student what a “variable” is in coding/computer programming.

Springfield Program Pictures

Mission Impossible 8-2: Ciphers & Puzzles

Mission Impossible 8-2: Ciphers & Puzzles

In this portion of the program, our spies-in-training are working to build escape rooms in order to sharpen their problem-solving spy skills. Today’s focus was on ciphers and puzzles since all good spies need to be able to crack any code! One of the favorite codes they learned was the Pig-Pen Cipher. This type of cipher exchanges letters for symbols. The spies also made a secret decoder wheel they can use on the go! 

Ask your camper:  What is the name for encoding and decoding information, or the art of writing and solving codes? Cryptography 

Springfield Program Pictures

Dream City 8-1: Bridge Building Challenge

Dream City 8-1: Bridge Building Challenge

How do we build bridges that are strong enough to withstand all the forces they must face on a daily basis so that vehicles, passengers, and cargo can safely cross over them? This was the question on hand during today’s “Transportation” portion of the Dream City program. Students were challenged to build the longest bridge possible using only 2 paper cups, jumbo craft sticks, and metal washers. 

Ask your student to describe and explain the key engineering strategies that can be used to increase bridge stability.

Springfield Program Pictures