“Science is not a boy’s game, it’s not a girl’s game. It’s everyone’s game. It’s about where we are and where we’re going.” -Nichelle Nichols, NASA ambassador
Science exists in everything around us: the geological formations of Mt. Hollywood, the combustion of gas from every car in every traffic jam on California 57, the sparks flashing from the Tesla Coil housed at Griffith Observatory, and the electricity grid that feeds all of Orange County, just to begin. This fascination with the world around us is what I can’t wait to impart to the campers at Eureka! this summer. Their enthusiasm was already evident at the camp’s orientation, Family Fun Fest, on a Saturday, no less. I have to admit, Little Bits are pretty dang cool, and I was ecstatic that the girls thought so too. Little Bits are magnetic pieces of circuits, such as a battery, a splitter, a microphone and speaker, servos, etc, that can be put together in numerous configurations to create a working circuit. The girls created moving “cars,” music turnstiles, blinking lights, and spinning fans. Seeing them so interested in working with circuits and electricity was exciting. I can’t wait to be working on robots and flashlights and coding and crime scene investigations with them in a week!
This week, we also finalized our curriculum for the flashlight build that the girls will be doing during camp by building the flashlights ourselves. The circuit itself is pretty simple, consisting only of a battery, switch, resistor, and two LEDs in parallel. But after putting all the pieces together, melting the metal together through soldering, and seeing the LEDs light up, I can say the simplicity doesn’t take anything away from the final result. I wish I could film their faces when their circuits finally come together.
We also had the opportunity to attend a Duke alumni BBQ put together for us by Mr. and Mrs. Parr and Mr. and Mrs. Gardner. All the alumni were extremely nice and welcoming and the opportunity to get to talk to them about everything from Orange County to Duke basketball while enjoying great food was a relaxing break from the hard work of the week. The alumni were eager to learn about our summer plans and help us with supplies for our flashlight lesson. Later in July, we’ll get to talk to some of them even more while exploring enrichment activities around Orange County. It’s been a busy week, and camp begins in only a week!