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Summer Camp Green Places

Summer Camp

Middle school students spent a week exploring physical science, materials, and physics during the first Sensing Our World summer day camp at the University in June 2006.

Some summer camps feature zip-lines and rock-climbing walls. Others, like Notre Dame’s Sensing Our World, help students explore the technology around them. The week-long camp for middle school students focused on physical science, materials, physics, and sensors. Students worked with lasers and electronics. They studied the technology behind different kinds of sensors, and they learned how to separate water into hydrogen and oxygen atoms.

Organizers Karen Morris, assistant professional specialist in chemistry and biochemistry, and Suzanne Coshow of the Joint Institute of Nuclear Astrophysics (JINA) at Notre Dame received help from College of Engineering personnel: Dennis Birdsell, laboratory manager of the Center for Environmental Science and Technology; Leon Downing, graduate student in civil engineering and geological sciences; Jennifer Forsythe, research technician in the Environmental Molecular Science Institute (EMSI); William Kinman, graduate student in civil engineering and geological sciences; and Jennifer Szymanowski, research technician in EMSI. The college team gave tours of several laboratories in the Department of Civil Engineering and Geological Sciences and demonstrated macroscopic and microscopic research techniques.

The 2006 camp was sponsored by JINA, the Arthur and Helen Shrieman Fund, the Community Endowment Fund of the Community Foundation of St. Joseph County, the departments of physics and chemistry and biochemistry, the Kaneb Center for Teaching and Learning, the Nuclear Structure Laboratory, and faculty researchers at the University. Morris is currently working on plans for the 2007 program.