Skip to main content

Davis Journal

Up, up and away at summer science camp

Jun 24, 2021 02:46PM ● By Becky Ginos

Emma is watching to see what Kara is going to do with the wings on her rocket. Photo by Roger V. Tuttle

FARMINGTON—It wasn’t NASA but rockets were launched into the skies over Knowlton Elementary as students tested their homemade rockets during a summer science camp last week.

“It’s a four day camp,” said sixth grade teacher Sonya Nelson. “There are rotation activity stations that are all science related. We make ice cream, dissect a sea star, engineer a kaleidoscope and use STEM learning building with Lego pieces to create something.”

The kids also launched hot air balloons they had created. “They used tangrams and soma cubes to make shapes from these pieces,” she said. “They made panels out of tissue paper and glued them together to make the air balloons.”

Nelson said on Tuesdays they usually go to an IMAX theater but because of COVID, they saw a movie at Davis High. “After that the kids worked on cutting the panels and gluing them together. We did coding activities that afternoon.”

Last Wednesday was flying day, she said. “We went to the Hill Aerospace Museum and came back and launched the paper rockets and hot air balloons with a hot air balloon launcher fueled by propane. The kids stood back and watched their creation.”

The balloons aren’t as hot as they could be because of the summer heat, said Nelson. “They still went pretty high, some even landed on the roof of the school.”

The pre-made rockets come from a company in Orem called “It’s a Blast,” she said. “They have a styrofoam nose cone. The kids have to trim the nose cone so it helps them to learn about aerodynamics. Then they attach fins to the rocket and launch it with an air compressor and PVC pipe.”

They have to use an engineering mindset, said Nelson. “They learn what weighs it down, then they modify it and launch it then modify it again to see ‘if I do this what’s going to happen?’”

The camp has two sessions and is for kids going into fourth, fifth, sixth or seventh grade. “They’re taught by teachers in the district,” Nelson said. “We had 79 kids in the first one and we’ll be getting another batch for the second session and both sessions are filled. I’d just say keep an eye out for signups in the spring.”