DIY: Clock Reaction Experiment

DIY: Clock Reaction Experiment

Check out this tricky science for April Fools, and no it’s not magic! This is a clock reaction, meaning that it takes some time to see the effects of the reaction. However, there are actually two reactions taking place. What we used: To two beakers  add about 150 mL of water.   In the first

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Meet Your Teachers

Meet Your Teachers

How does a person end up teaching at AstroCamp? Most instructors study physics as undergraduates. Mathematicians and biologists are represented on staff, too! All share a passion for communicating science to children. L: Caity helps a student look for micrometeorites. During summer camp, she teaches rock climbing on Idyllwild’s iconic granite. R: Christian debriefs students

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DIY Invisible Ink

DIY Invisible Ink

The simplest invisible inks consist of organic compounds like lemon juice, vinegar, diluted honey, and even white wine– all substances that subtly weaken paper fiber. Once the liquid dries, it’s undetectable under normal circumstances. Apply heat, however, and the hidden message seems to appear out of nowhere. Organic ink makes the painted area more susceptible

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Looking for Order in March Madness

Looking for Order in March Madness

Why is it so hard to pick the perfect bracket? Let’s take a look at the mathematics of March Madness!! This year’s complete printable March Madness bracket by ESPN. It all comes down to probability. Let’s start by making things simple before we truly delve into the madness. Imagine two perfectly even teams are about

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Love Pie? That’s Not Irrational! Happy Pi Day!

Love Pie? That’s Not Irrational! Happy Pi Day!

???? is the ratio between the diameter and the circumference of a circle. Any circle. It doesn’t matter how big or small a circle is, this ratio is always the same. This may not seem incredibly important, but many things are circular or spherical. This results in ???? showing up in all kinds of equations

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The Slinky: Mystery of a Childhood Toy

The Slinky: Mystery of a Childhood Toy

Everyone loves a Slinky, especially scientists! Most people know them as cool springy things that can go down the stairs or end up in a giant tangled mess. We want to focus on something else: what happens when you dangle a slinky from the top until it is fully extended, then drop it?  You might

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Five Great Google Surprises!

Five Great Google Surprises!

 Googol is a really really big number. It is a one followed by 100 zeroes. As big as that number is, it seems appropriate for its named counterpart, Google, which celebrates its 17th birthday since its incorporation today! While Google has exploded to the point where it is both a noun and a verb,

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2015 Space Tech Expo: Space Exploration

2015 Space Tech Expo: Space Exploration

The 2015 Space Tech Expo is in full swing! Over 2000 people are attending the conference and festivities in Long Beach this week, including some of the biggest players in the industry like SpaceX and Boeing. With such a focus on the newest technology and ideas for space flight, we thought this would be a

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A Scientist’s April Fools

A Scientist’s April Fools

 Warning: Don’t do this at home!  When a scientist decides to play an April Fools prank on someone, it gets pretty serious.  We pull out all the stops.  One experiment that is guaranteed to both terrify and delight is the classic alcohol money burn. The experiment is pretty simple.  Mix some rubbing alcohol and

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Future of CDs and DVDs

 CDs are dying.  It’s an unfortunate but inescapable fact as the world transitions to digital downloading.  But while the end may be in site for CDs and DVDs, it hasn’t come yet.  Before that day actually comes, perhaps we should take a quick look at this awesome technology and how it works. A CD’s

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Darth Vader and a Tesla Coil

What do Darth Vader and Tesla have in Common? Well the answer is AstroCamp! We had a little fun playing with our giant Tesla Coil as Darth Vader from Star Wars.  The tesla coil is the most iconic and well known invention from the proud inventor Nikola Tesla. Tesla’s inventions helped pioneer the modern use

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