A summer of science begins | AspenTimes.com

A summer of science begins

John ColsonAspen, CO Colorado

ASPEN The Aspen Science Center is embarking on a summertime schedule of classes, events and educational programs for kids up and down the Roaring Fork Valley, beginning with the first of five Summer SuperScience Camps, June 25-29.Titled “Waterkeeper Discovery Week,” the program is billed as “CSI for water bodies. Learn how to identify, isolate and trace pollutants in your local rivers and ditches through a series of indicators … Student teams will summarize, analyze, interpret and present their conclusions to the County Commissioners during active sessions.”The Waterkeeper program costs $400 per participant and is aimed at children in grades 5, 6 and 7 (or older).”Our enriched offerings will deliver you right to the cutting edge of DNA biology, earth systems, astronomy and physics,” the center’s program description declares. “Space is limited, so sign up early.”Subsequent SuperScience Camps, according to the center’s literature, will cover such topics as: “DNA Explorers Safari,” looking at the core concepts behind genetics and biology, constructing cells and DNA models, extracting DNA from bacteria and learning to genetically engineer bacteria by inserting RNA, for grades five-seven (July 9-13, $450); “DNA Explorers 2: World of Enzymes,” using direct cloning and enzyme manipulation to learn the importance of proteins in everything from living beings to recombinant DNA technology, cloning and industry for grades seven-eight, (July 16-20, $450); “Aspen CSI: Cloning/Recombinant DNA Science,” this one’s for an older crowd, grades 10-12, and is “a comprehensive crash course in recombinant DNA science and genetic engineering,” in which students will “master techniques of scientific research during several overlapping in-depth experiments (July 23-27, $450); “The Physics of Superheroes,” also for grades 10-12, will explore such questions as “just how does superman leap a tall building in a single bound?” The course “explores everything from energy to thermodynamics, to quantum mechanics, to solid-state physics, and relates the physics in comic books to such real-world applications as automobile airbags, microwave ovens and transistors.”To enroll, go to the website, aspensciencecenter.com, or call 309-3390.Also on tap from the Aspen Science Center is a series of “Physics Is For Kids” family barbecue and lecture events from 5-6:30 p.m. every Wednesday on the lawn of the Aspen Center for Physics, 200 W. Gillespie St.The first barbecue is scheduled for June 20 and will address the topic, “Black Holes and Where to Find Them.” The talk will follow the barbecue dinner of burgers and hot dogs, with chocolate chip cookies for dessert.Other topics will include galaxy formation, the mystery of anti-matter, nanotechnology and subatomic particles, quantum physics for kids and “how big is the universe?”To learn more about the series, call 309-3390.John Colson’s e-mail address is jcolson@aspentimes.com


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