Launch Zone: Summer Adventures

Launch Zone: Summer Adventures

At the end of June, summer adventures explored aerodynamics and propulsion during Launch Zone.

On Monday the weather kept us at The Phoenix School. Before it started raining everyone was still able to go out on a walk; they collected things like dandelion seeds and maple seeds that float in the wind. After they collected them the kids studied these natural objects to understand better how things in nature slow their descent. With this knowledge, they returned to the school and the kids all worked individually to come up with designs for parachutes, before testing them together.

On Tuesday the kids explored the kind of propulsion that’s used in rocket ships by making bottle rockets together. They used PVC pipes and plastic bottles to create the propulsion system and then tested them together, seeing how high the rockets could go. Some of them even got up to the tops of the trees at Salem Willows.

On Wednesday the kids designed catapults. After the kids built their catapults they could test how far they could throw a projectile with them using a measuring tape. Some of the kids were very invested in trying to throw the projectile as far as possible, and they were able to go back and modify their catapult to see if they could improve on their design.

On Thursday the kids worked in groups to make derby cars. After they’d made them, they set up the cars to start on ramps, and they raced the cars to see how fast they all were.

On Friday the kids designed sailboats for a miniature sailboat race. Everyone was given pipe cleaners, straws, and a small cloth sail. Each kid designed their own sailboat using those materials, and in the afternoon they raced their sailboats to test the designs the kids had made. These designs used all of the concepts the kids had learned about over the week: the sail works similarly to a parachute and propels like the bottle rockets and catapults, and the ships had to be aerodynamic like the racecars. Like the first week, the kids each drew their favorite event from the week on the cover of their journal.

Summer programs are enrolling now for the end of August – learn more here >>> https://phoenixschool.org/enrichment-programs/summer-adventures/

Phoenix Summer Adventure Kids

Phoenix Summer Adventure Kids

This past week the Phoenix Summer Adventure Kids went on adventures in the Salem Willows.

The theme of the week was Spies in the Wild, all about exploring how animals hide in nature.

Early in the morning, the kids started off by playing games to get ready for the day and finished each afternoon by visiting the beach and swimming together to round out their day.

On Monday they spent some time exploring the beach. They searched the beach for animal tracks, and each student drew the tracks in their journal. They made sure to pay good attention to how the tracks looked, so they could draw them and identify them later.

On Wednesday, the students had an adventure in the woods. The day’s activities were all about camouflage; the first thing the students did was each find an object in nature and attempt to camouflage it. They took their object and put it on a piece of paper, and using their art supplies they all drew backgrounds on the paper to try and hide the object in the background. After that, the kids created animal blinds to cover the lenses of cameras. The purpose of the blinds was to hide the camera (in this case the iPads) from animals, so they could record video of them. The kids were able to get a video of seagulls, as well as some video of robins using the iPad cameras.

On Friday the Phoenix Summer Adventure Kids continued their exploration of camouflage. For this activity, they each made their own creatures to hide in the woods. The kids got to choose whatever creature they wanted to make, real or fictional, and once they were all done they hid their creations along the trail. Afterward, the kids went back down the trail and all tried to find their fellow students’ creations. After they were done they all collected an item from the woods that they wanted to study. They took them back with them and they all used magnifying glasses and microscopes to look closely at the objects. While studying the objects the students all recorded what they saw by drawing it, to show what the objects looked like on a microscopic scale. At the end of the day on Friday, the kids reflected on the week’s adventures. Each kid thought back to their favorite moment of the week and drew that moment to record it.