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Youth Center Camp S.H.A.R.K. demonstrations inspire future scientists

Budding scientists were inspired at The Youth Center’s Camp S.H.A.R.K. with experiments during “MadScience Week” on June 13 at Rossmoor Park. About 30 children witnessed wonders in chemistry and buoyancy.

Camp Staff Member Elizabeth Masters carried out a balloon blow up experiment using vinegar and baking soda which 6-year-olds Royce and Benny especially liked as their buddies 5-year-old Noah and 11-year-old Greyson were bedazzled.

“I like science experiments and I like explosions,” said Royce. Benny also said he likes learning how things explode and creating things, while Noah expressed similar interests. Grayson simply enjoys doing different experiments. All the children said they hope to one day grow up to be scientists as they watched Masters pour vinegar into a bottle then top it with a deflated balloon filled with baking soda, that once mixed caused it to inflate purely by chemistry.

“It was fascinating how the balloon blew up,” said 8-year-old Gia. “We really don’t do experiments in school, but I like science a lot.”

“It’s cool,” said 6-year-old Caitlin. “I did this once at my house, and it was cool at both places.”

The second experiment was something Camp Staff Member Coby Palamares explained was an exercise in buoyancy, something he learned while studying Biology on his path to become a future doctor. Using just ketchup, water and salt the children looked on asking if it would explode, their collective favorite desired reaction. When poured into the water, the ketchup sank to the bottom. Once salt was added it separated into tiny red bubbles that floated and swirled around.

“I like science and hope to someday be a doctor or nurse,” said Palamares to the kids as they looked on and applauded.

A bit of magic was performed with one last experiment. Excited and again hoping for an explosion, the kids counted to 10 as water and vinegar where mixed then combined with dirty pennies. Greyson who already did this experiment last year in school, looked on as the pennies shined up like new.

Next week, the Camp S.H.A.R.K. kids will be making slime out of common household ingredients, a favorite science-related activity. Camp S.H.A.R.K. stands for “Science, Hands On, Art, Recreation and Knowledge,” and offers an electronics-free summer day camp for children ages 5 to 12 out of Rossmoor Park. For more information about The Youth Center’s Camp S.H.A.R.K. and Teen Camp, please visit online at www.theyouthcenter.org.

This article was written by Laurie Hanson for The Youth Center.