Science Fun

Survive and Thrive Program is our Spotlight of the Week

Posted On: 31 May

Survive and Thrive Program is our Spotlight of the Week


GRADE: K-5th Grades
PROGRAM: Survive and Thrive
Scientist: Maddie O’Beirne

This week I had the privilege of leading a camp in our science fun lab called Survive and Thrive, where I got to teach scientists K-5th grade about the science of survival! The junior scientists came from elementary schools all over the triangle. We had brothers, sisters, old friends and new friends come to science fun camp to learn and have fun!
We explored what it takes in order to survive in the wild in extreme circumstances. For instance, on Monday we learned how to forage for food and make our own edible food by planting herbs such as basil, cilantro, dill, and mint! We learned that plants with waxy leaves, milky sap, and white umbrella shaped flowers are all signs of potentially poisonous plants that we should avoid!

On Tuesday, the junior scientists learned about different survival techniques from the survival experts: animals! We explored the different adaptations animals use in order to survive in their environment such as mimicry, camouflage, migration, hibernation. We made our own “blubber” out of slime that helped us adapt to a freezing cold cooler of ice, just like an arctic animal. Blubber helps to create insulation that traps heat closer to the body.

On Wednesday, we got to learn about the sequence of events that are most important in order to survive.  The first thing we would need to find if we were lost in the woods is shelter. Shelter is the most important thing to create or find as daylight can fade quickly and your body can lose heat even quicker! We learned that once you make shelter, it’s important to create a fire, then find water, and lastly find food!! We can last 3 days without water and over 3 weeks without food!! One of the easiest shelters to make is an A-frame shelter. The scientists got to go outside and work in teams to build shelters that insulated an ice cube using only the materials they could find on the ground.

Last but not least, on Thursday we learned about how important water is in terms of our survival. We are mostly made of water, so it’s important we keep our body hydrated! We learned that there are lots of materials found in nature that can act as a water filter when we need to filter out dirt. Things like clay, sand, pebbles, and rocks all act as great materials to filter water for drinking. We also learned that filtering water through materials in the ground alone will not clean our water and make it potable (meaning safe to drink.) We would also need to boil it to get rid of bacteria! After a long week of fun experiments, the scientists are ready to test out their new knowledge next time they go camping. Let’s just hope that they will not have to use ALL of the knowledge they learned about surviving in emergency situations.

I can’t believe we are already done with Survive and Thrive camp and I can’t wait until the next opportunity to teach this camp again. As always, we are looking for junior scientists to join our next Survive and Thrive camp. So if you love being in the great outdoors, check out our week long camp!!!

Hope to see you there next time!!
Scientist Maddie

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