As soon as LifeMoves Summer Adventure camp arrived at the Exploratorium in San Francisco, the campers’ eyes widen by the mesmerizing bright colors. They were mesmerized by the Human Phenomena area, which focuses on experiments with thoughts, feelings, and social behavior. The campers walked quickly to the first experiment, which spun the campers in a circle to make them feel dizzy when they stood up. All the campers wanted to go first in anticipation, so they quickly formed a line waiting for their turn.
The Exploratorium offers a variety of exhibits that are close together, which gave the counselors and campers flexibility to explore a variety of other exhibits. One camper who was fascinated by the bright colors came to the elastotron exhibit; it translates brightness into images that look dimensional, so the more light reflected into the camera, the brighter the image will become and pop out more. Simultaneously, another camper was trying to sketch her own symmetrical masterpiece!
Going further into the Exploratorium, the campers came across the seeing and listening area, which experiments with light, vision, sound, and hearing. The wonders of science enchanted the campers because everything in this area had a cause and effect. One camper looked in awe at the gas model exhibit. The exhibit is a model of a molecular process, in which balls represent molecules found in gases. In this scenario, the camper was turning up the vibration, which is like turning up the heat under the gas. Through this activity, the camper explored how heating up an object transfers energy to the system and then leads to increasing the motion of molecules, which is why the balls were bouncing so fast. Some of our other campers in the area were working together to make a giant bubble at the soap film painting exhibit; the science behind this is that white light shines off the soap painting, creating an interface of colors.
The one exhibit that was very surprising for everyone was the Benham’s disk, which consists of only black and white patterns on a disk! However, once it is spun, the band of colors on the disk change, which is an illusion called subjective colors – they only exist inside your head! The campers were surprised to hear that researchers do not know exactly why the black and white patterns cause the color-sensitive cells in your eyes to respond as if you’re looking at objects with color.
Our campers gained hands-on experience about science of sound, motion, vision, and hearing. Our Campers had an incredible time, and this will be an experience that they will remember for the rest of their lives! Thank you, Exploratorium