Sha'Cora Walker, 12, thought that launching water rockets and making oozing slime sounded like a fun way to spend a week of her summer vacation.
The Roosevelt Middle School student was one of 57 participants who attended Palm Beach Atlantic University's inaugural Science Days camp for elementary and middle school students earlier this month. The five-day camp covered such topics as ecology, pharmacy, chemistry, oceanography and physics.
Dr. Keysha Bryant, director of Science Days, said that the instructors reinforced the scientific method throughout the week. The students worked in teams to form a hypothesis, and they documented their findings, she said. For the younger students, there were note-taking exercises, and campers also researched famous scientists.
Campers also had a chance to create some 21st century dinosaurs out of recycled materials, such as snack food wrappers, soda bottles, toilet paper rolls and aluminum cans. The students built the dinosaurs in groups. "We got to be really creative," said Mikayla Guerrier, 12, a student at Bak Middle School of the Arts in West Palm Beach.
Bank of America provided a grant to assist with the camp's start-up costs and to fund scholarships. Camp organizers worked with local school principals to select 10 deserving scholarship recipients.