2017 May 17 - June 29
2017 October 11 - December 21
2017 Proposal deadline: 08/01/17
2017 BTR deadline: 09/10/17
Jasmine leans over an empty Fuji water bottle, cutting two half-dollar sized circles a few centimeters apart from one another. After placing convex lenses in each hole, she gingerly glues each lens into the circles using copious amounts of hot glue. Lifting up the bottle to her face she peers through the lens and squints to help her eyes focus on the far side of the bottle decorated with green seaweed-like grass. “This is what it would look like if you were a fish looking at seaweed underwater!” she proclaims as she hands off her self-made fish goggles to another girl working at the same table. This exhibit, along with a water-drop microscope, periscope, Cartesian diver, vortex ring generator, weather station, canal and lock system, stratification model and a lake-bottom 3D contour map were the hands-on displays created during the all girls BioBuild! Physics of Cayuga Lake camp hosted by Xraise in collaboration with the Ithaca Physics Bus and Cayuga Lake Floating Classroom.
“I learned a lot about wiring and electric connection, and I definitely got more comfortable using tools like wire cutters, hand drills and dremel.” Said Noa Shipiro-Tamir, a rising freshman, who worked on the weather station and contour map projects. “We came to a couple of obstacles with the projects I worked on, and I think I just had to learn how to deal with the materials I had and to use them to my advantage. Also, to think out of the box, and take a step back, see the whole picture and switch gears when needed.”
Clockwise from top-left: Noa Shapiro-Tamir and McKenzie Masters calculate wind speeds generated by a leaf-blower while designing their Weather Station exhibit; Anna Salce, Amanda Bielecki and Franny Lux anxiously observe the built canal and lock model for water leaks; Emma Bielecki and her mother try out the assortment of fish goggles on display during the Eco-Cruise on the Cayuga Lake Floating Classroom; Rose Chandler tests out her first periscope prototype in the fish tank at the eXploration station.
The three-day camp included a field trip to the Shark Lab, part of Cornell’s Shoal’s Marine Laboratory, where Claire Fox showed dissected specimens and showed the girls large livers that act as swim bladders and marble-shaped eye lenses that focus light. Amber Medina, an undergraduate biology major at the University of Florida, joined the BioBuild project and served as a consultant and mentor during the camp. The BioBuild! experience culminated in a trip aboard the Cayuga Lake Floating Classroom courtesy of program director Bill Foster, where all of the girls showcased their projects during a two-hour Public Eco-Cruise on Cayuga Lake. Each girl was able to describe their project, demonstrate how it works and answer questions about the process of designing and building their projects. Anna, a rising ninth grader shared her enthusiasm by posting, “Today was fun!” on her Facebook page, along with a dozen photos of her fellow campers and projects. We were delighted to share her post on the Xraise Facebook page.
Submitted by: Lora Hine, CHESS, Cornell University