Tahlequah Daily Press

Local News

June 17, 2014

Junior campers learn about science

TAHLEQUAH — Over the weekend, Kendrea James ran into trouble while trying to bake cookies.

“I had all the ingredients, but they were all in plastic bowls, so I couldn’t tell what was what,” James told 31 Junior Science Campers at Northeastern State University Monday. “I was hoping you guys could help me, so I can finally bake cookies!”

James, a student at NSU, along with fellow student Tasha Atcity, delighted the 5- to 7-year-olds with all kinds of questions designed to pique the youngsters’ curiosity in science.

“I knew I had sugar, but what else do we need to bake cookies?” asked James.

Campers raised their hands to answer.

“Chocolate!” said one.

“An oven!” said another.

James said both answers were correct, but she was having a bigger problem figuring out the difference between two specific ingredients.

“When I was trying to bake my cookies, I couldn’t figure out the difference between sugar and baking soda, because they were both in these red plastic bowls,” said James, showing the youth the ingredients. “So, I had to do an experiment using my five senses. Can anyone tell me what one of the five senses is?”

The youth were excited about answering the question.

“Sight!” said several.

James wrote “sight” on the chalkboard, and continued asking for  input until all five senses were identified – including taste, smell, hearing and touch. She then began asking the students to use their senses to tell the difference between the two ingredients.

“Can you tell which is sugar and which is baking soda just by using your sight?” James asked camper Kyri Rider.

Kyri said that the powder in one bowl was sugar, because it was “flat,” and that the other ingredient was baking powder, because it was “clumpy.”

James had the other kids look in the bowls to confirm Kyri’s assertion. They agreed.

“Now, who wants to taste the ingredients?” James asked, and hands shot up across the classroom. James selected a boy.

“Now come up here and close your eyes,” said James to the boy. “Did you wash your hands? Good. Now, lick your finger.”

She took the boy’s dampened finger and dipped it into one of the two bowls.

“Now, taste,” said James. “What is in that bowl?”

The boy identified the ingredient as sugar, and James asked him to describe what he tasted and why he chose sugar as the ingredient.

“It’s sweet; that’s how I know it’s sugar,” said the boy.

James decided she would be the one to taste the baking soda.

“Because I’m sure it doesn’t taste good,” said James.

She dampened her finger, stuck it in the other bowl, and showed the students a fingertip coated with white powder. She grimaced, then stuck her finger in her mouth.

“Wow. That tastes salty and has a soft texture,” said James. “It’s soft like a marshmallow. So, if we were making cookies and wanted them to taste sweet, what ingredient do we need more of?”

The group chose sugar, and received praise from James.

Atcity said she’s excited about the camp, which runs from 8:30 to 4 p.m. through Friday.

“I love kids,” said Atcity. “Kendrea loves science and she’s done all the research to make sure the experiments we’ll be doing are safe and kid-friendly.”


To get a full listing of youth camps being held at NSU this summer,go to tahlequahTDP.com


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