Are you ready for summer? If you are like me, as a parent you look forward to summer with a mix of excitement and dread. Excitement, that my family will be untethered from the school calendar. This means we will get to take some amazing family trips and that my son will get to go to some awesome summer camps. Dread, that I will need to plan the whole summer, buy plane tickets for our trips and figure out a new, workable routine for the family.
One of the bright spots each summer is summer camp at Camp Galileo. My son has been going to as many sessions as we can schedule since he was in pre-K and has an amazing time each and every session he attends. In addition to providing my son with a fantastic STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Math) curriculum, he approaches each day like an outing to a fair. Unlike some other camps we’ve tried his happiness doesn’t depend on junky snacks or arranging for a buddy to attend the same week and his fun seems tied to the great activities and upbeat atmosphere. The camps are run by amazingly enthusiastic counselors with a fantastic sense of silly fun. (Check out the wig on the counselor from one of last year’s closing ceremonies on the right!) While the kids are
embracing dress-up days and great activities they are also immersed in the Galileo Innovation Approach®. Each age-appropriate project is tackled in a way that encourages creative, critical thinking skills, embraces failure and promotes resiliency. Every summer Camp Galileo rolls out new themes to keep the activities and projects fresh and new. This year, my son is looking forward to Space Explorers, National Parks Adventure, Galileo Olympics, and Galileo Makers: Toys. For grades five and above campers can choose from twelve different majors picking something they already love or a new area they’re excited to explore, then spend the week doing a deep dive. They are mentored by expert instructors and get access to with professional tools and materials. Campers make short films, engineer catapults, whip up inventive dishes, design custom video games and more!
In addition to providing a stimulating indoor outdoor curriculum that keeps my son’s body active and his mind engaged, Camp Galileo provides me with options that make each day at camp convenient for our busy family. These options include early drop-off, aftercare, and a lunch program. I love knowing that if I have to be on an early or late afternoon conference call I can fit it into my work day and not worry about a pickup or dropoff time that is set in stone. Getting a break from packing a lunch is yet another great summer vacation perk. Fortunately, Camp Galileo is making including them in your summer plans even easier. They are offering a $40 discount when you use the code BEBOLD or book your sessions from this link.
I’ve got Camp Galileo booked but, as booking our family travel plans loom ahead of me this weekend, I thought I might need a dose of the determination and resiliency that comes from approaching a project with the Galileo Innovation Approach®. So, I grabbed my son and some supplies from the kitchen to do some science experiments. At least procrastinating could be fun and educational for my son. As we looked over our options we decided to see if we could make fireworks in a jar and raisins dance.
Fireworks in a Jar
In the writeup this one seemed too good to be true. All we needed was cold water, cooking oil, a jar and some food coloring. My son was super excited. Fireworks! What could be better!?! Without explosives or even a match involved, I was a little skeptical about really getting a “firework” effect. I thought it was important to review the some of Galileo’s advice about approaching projects anticipating that being extra determined might be important for this one.
1 Work with the child to identify their goals.
2 Collaborate with them to brainstorm and generate ideas.
3 Talk about the importance of being Visionary as they begin their designs.
4 The fun really begins as you Courageously start to create,
5 Remember to stay Determined as you test your projects,
6 It’s time to be Reflective as you evaluate what worked and what didn’t and start your re-design.
To begin, we assembled our materials and started out by placing three tablespoons of canola oil in a small bowl. Then ,my son decided we should put four drops of red, green and yellow each into the bowl and limit the blue to one drop since we thought it might make the water too dark. Unfortunately, we had a clog in our green food coloring making our one and only green drop gigantic. Ooops!
We forged ahead despite the large amount of green and used a fork to mix up the food coloring and oil into smaller drops of color. We then poured the oil covered droplets into our jar. Rather than small bursts of different colors, the effect was like a large bloom of seaweed. As we predicted, the excess green took over the jar blocking out any other color bursts. We were determined to succeed and decided we would try again and to cut back on green. Our second attempt yielded more defined “explosions” as the “heavy” food coloring separated from the oil droplets and sank to the bottom of the jar.
Although, we declared our second attempt a success we decided a better name for the experiment might be “Homemade Jellyfish in a Jar.”
Making Raisins Dance
After discussing how the different liquids had different weights in the first experiment, we decided to move ahead with our second experiment. Dancing Raisins!
For this one all we needed was some carbonated water, tap water, raisins and two jars. We started with our control group: the tap water and raisins. When we added the raisins to the jar filled with tap water they sank to the bottom immediately and stayed there. The effect was so immediate we were a little concerned that our sparking water might not be fizzy enough to make our raisins move at all. But we gamly forged ahead: Fizzy water went into the jar followed by the raisins. Lo and behold, the bubbles fizzed up when the raisins were added. They attached themselves to the fruit causing the raisins to float and bob up and down and the bubbles burst and reformed. We made raisins dance!
We then chatted about why this experiment worked: Raisins are heavier than water which caused them to sink in the tap water. However the air bubbles in the carbonated water are lighter than the water. When the bubbles attached to the raisins they gave them a boost and a way to float in the water until the bubbles popped.
My son declared science experiments cool and I felt simultaniously accomplished and determined to finish my summer travel planning project. Try it for yourself! Make sure you take advantage of the BEBOLD discount and know that you can combine it with the $100 refer a friend discount Galileo is offering too! Go forth and plan a summer of fantastic fun.