Children in grades 1-4 tear apart computers as they learn how computers are made at the Upper Iowa University summer day camp held recently
FAYETTE, Iowa (June 24, 2013) – Fossils and robots may be on opposite ends of the world's timeline, but for 30 first- through ninth-graders, the two topics came together in a day-long educational summer camp sponsored by Upper Iowa University.
Divided into two groups, the campers spent half a day exploring geology, rocks and fossils with Dr. Kata McCarville, UIU associate professor of geosciences. They learned about the different minerals that make up Earth and discovered the three major rock types, igneous, sedimentary and metamorphic. Each student created a collection of common rocks and minerals, and collected their own samples of limestone as they walked along the trail near the Churbuck Prairie. In addition, they examined fossilized plants and quantified insect damage to the plants.
In the fifth- to ninth-grade section, the campers collected data on living plants and insect damage to the leaves, and compared their results from different plant species to the fossil plant results, and tested their hypotheses.
In the IT lab at Edgar Fine Arts Hall, both groups discovered what a computer is, while learning the interior parts of a computer. They also learned the binary language of a computer and how to translate English and numbers into binary to and from a computer. The campers assisted in programming and animation using 'Scratch' the cat and learned the basics of programming a robot to perform simple tasks using the Scribbler.
"Dr. McCarville and I really enjoyed assisting with last year's youth camp, that we decided to host a day camp this year between our departments," said Dr. Jim Jacobs, UIU assistant professor of information technology. "The kids really had a good time, and learned a lot about computers and the geosciences."
Dr. Kata McCarville, UIU associate professor of geosciences, demonstrates how layers of sediment are formed.
About Upper Iowa University Founded in 1857, Upper Iowa University is a private, not-for-profit university providing undergraduate and graduate degree programs and leadership development opportunities to some 6,200 students—nationally and internationally—at its Fayette campus and learning centers worldwide. Upper Iowa University is a recognized innovator in offering accredited, quality programs through flexible, multiple delivery systems, including online and independent study. For more information, visit www.uiu.edu.
Monica Bayer Heaton
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