Monthly Archives: August 2014

Blacksmithing – You Bend Metal

 
“We’re going to take hot metal, and we’re going to bend it to our will!” That is the motto for the Blacksmith class at AstroCamp summer mission.  We take rods of iron; heat them up in our very own forge to a scalding temperature of well over 1000 degrees Fahrenheit, and pound them into a shape of our choosing. Dragon’s breath is the name of the scorching air escaping the heat of the forge and it is truly powerful. As we pound and twist the metal, see the impurities in the iron flake off and flutter down to the ground. At the completion of your project, dowse your masterpiece in the cold water and see the steam sizzling off of your completed project.

We create items both practical and decorative. For those that are musically inclined, Max made a treble clef.  Zack made a belt buckle that was both beautiful and useful.  Your imagination can help you make amazing things, you just have to follow it.  At the end of camp, take your work home with you to show your family and friends your newfound skill in blacksmithing. Now that you are a Blacksmith and you can bend metal what will your next project be?

5 Step DIY Tie Dye T-Shirts

DIY Tie Dye shirts are very popular here at AstroCamp especially during summer camp.  We want to take you through the process of making one of these awesome shirts. Only 5 Steps and your done!

Step 1: Make a solution of water and soda ash and soak the T shirt in it for 20 minutes.  The soda ash will bond with the dye and cause it to permanently stick to the fabric.  If you do not have soda ash then baking soda will work as a substitute but your colors won’t be quite as bright.

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Step 2:  Twist and twirl and otherwise be creative with your shirt and rubber band it into place.  Different swirling patterns will change the pattern of the finished product.  This shirt will end up in a bulls eye pattern.

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Step 3:  Apply the dye to the shirt.  The rubber bands can often be good guides for where to stop with one color and start another.

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Step 4: Wrap the shirt in saran wrap and let it sit overnight.  After that rinse and hang the shirt until it is dry and ready to wear!

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Step 5: Show it off to all of your friends!  ENJOY! If you want to do the same process then you can create tie dye pillow cases, bandanas, pants and more. Enjoy!

Liquid Nitrogen Pool Exploration

CAUTION: DO NOT DO THIS WITH SOMEONE IN THE POOL! IT IS VERY DANGEROUS AS THE EVAPORATED NITROGEN DISPLACES THE OXYGEN IN THE AIR AND SOMEONE COULD SUFFOCATE AND POSSIBLE DEATH.

At AstroCamp, we love exploring and testing theories. So what do we do when we have excess liquid nitrogen from our summer camp program that will evaporate before we can use it again?  Why we do some experiments of course!  Our favorite recent experiment was dumping the left over liquid nitrogen into the pool.  We thought we were going to get a lot of condensation from the water vapor coming into contact with the cold liquid nitrogen.  What we forgot to take into account was the Leidenfrost Effect.  The Leidenfrost Effect occurs when a liquid comes into contact with a surface much hotter than it.  Because of the drastic change in temperature, the liquid that comes into contact with the surface boils near instantly.  But the boiled gas creates a buffer for the rest of the liquid and keeps it from evaporating for a while longer. In the pool, this allows the liquid nitrogen to spread across the surface of the water, expanding the fog until it nearly covers the pool entirely.  Stay tuned for future fun things to do with liquid nitrogen exploration!

WELCOME TO OUR ASTROCAMP BLOG

We would like to thank you for visiting our blog. AstroCamp is a hands-on physical science program with an emphasis on astronomy and space exploration. Our classes and activities are designed to inspire students toward future success in their academic and personal pursuits. This blog is intended to provide you with up-to-date news and information about our camp programs, as well as current science and astronomical happenings. This blog has been created by our staff who have at least a Bachelors Degree in Physics or Astronomy, however it is not uncommon for them to have a Masters Degree or PhD. We encourage you to also follow us on Facebook, Instagram, Google+, Twitter, and Vine to see even more of our interesting science, space and astronomy information. Feel free to leave comments, questions, or share our blog with others. Please visit www.astrocampschool.org for additional information. Happy Reading!

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