EAC’s Discovery Park Campus hosts the annual EASI Summer Science Camp

EAC Photo: EAC’s Discovery Park campus hosted the Eastern Arizona Science Initiative (EASI) 2022 Summer Science Camp last month with more than 50 students in grades five through nine from school districts across the eastern Arizona.

Contributed article / Courtesy EAC

Thatcher, — EAC’s Discovery Park campus hosted the 2022 Eastern Arizona Science Initiative (EASI) Summer Science Camp last month with more than 50 students in grades five through nine from school districts across the eastern Arizona.

The theme for this year’s camp was “Physics Moves the World!” and included a dozen activities that demonstrated the energy, forces, and movement of physics in the natural world.

Students participated in a wide variety of fun science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) activities and lessons. For example, the program “Designing Roller Coasters!” activity, along with Safford Middle School science teacher JoKae Lambson, taught roller coaster gravity and momentum. Dr. Phil McBride, EAC Teaching Dean and Chemistry Instructor, taught “Chemical Flight!” by carrying out an activity that creates propulsion and motion through chemical reactions. One project of the activity used antacid tablets and water to boost pressure and launch Nerf darts from a glass beaker.

Students also created mini water slides under the guidance of Heather Dillman of Fort Thomas High School. The activity focused on safety rules and included competitions between students over the most marbles sent down the slides without colliding.

EAC Professor of Anatomy and Physiology Tammy Gillespie presented “I Love to Move It, Move It!” a lesson on the physics of movement and human action, with many examples and activities.

Marie Arrington and Carol Elders of Safford Middle School’s Technology Training Center shared “Wet & Wild!” where students used “Sphero BOLTs” – programmable round robots that can float – to figure out what to add to the spheres to help them move through water.

Tawnie Anger of Pima Jr. High School brought the fun of thinking with “Let’s Play with MATH!” which included card games and activities.

EAC biology professor Dr. Nathan Cline shared “Cold-Blooded Snakes!” In this activity, campers saw and learned about snakes and other reptiles, and were able to make and take home their very own “Bead Snake”, a fun, personalized pet made from pipe cleaners and pearls.

Dana Olson of Fort Thomas High School shared “Rat Race,” a lesson in which students designed and built a race car using DVD discs for wheels and a mousetrap for propulsion.

Paul Anger, Principal of Discovery Park Campus and Director of EASI Summer Science Camps, shared a lesson on “The Physics of Archery” where students learned the principles of archery and held a competition to determine the best archer in the camp. (Mackenzie Millar won the competition with a high score of 12 out of 15 – with a Bullseye!)

At the end of the camp, students enjoyed a special presentation in EASI’s giant StarLab planetarium with a lesson on astronomy and a look at the planets in our solar system. They also attended an exciting presentation by Dr. Cline to learn about, see, and even touch different types of native animals, including a tarantula, turtles, king snake, gopher snake, and even a Gila monster.

EAC Photo: Mackenzie Millar was the best archer in camp.

“It was a good time and everyone enjoyed it,” Anger said. “All campers received a ‘Physics Moves the World!’ T-shirt, backpack, prizes and lots of activities to take away.

Light breakfasts and lunches were provided by the Safford Unified School District to ensure campers were happy and ready to learn.

Anger expressed special thanks to United Way of Graham & Greenlee County for providing funding to share these STEM lessons and activities with local youth at camp and said, “We also appreciate our friends at Freeport-McMoRan who donate to EASI through the employee payroll deductions program, Safford Schools for the great meals, and Eastern Arizona College for hosting the camps at the beautiful facilities at Discovery Park Campus.”

Annual Summer Science Camps are a great opportunity for young people from across Eastern Arizona to meet, have fun, and participate in great STEM lessons and activities taught by amazing local educators. “Our primary goal,” Anger concluded, “is to build interest in STEM and higher education opportunities, and to inspire campers to eventually pursue local careers that involve STEM.”

For more information about the Eastern Arizona Science Initiative (EASI), EAC’s Discovery Park campus, or information about tours of the Mount Graham International Observatory telescopes, contact Anger at (928) 428-6260 or email: [email protected], or go to www.eac.edu/discoverypark.

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