Workshop Descriptions

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Summer Youth Camp Cancellation Notice

UW-La Crosse Extended Learning 2020 summer youth camps have been cancelled due to COVID-19. All registered participants will receive a full refund. We regret that we won't be able to share our love of science, cooking, art and writing with you and hope you will consider re-enrolling next year. 

Hands-On Science
A science day-camp for kids entering grades 6–8
June 24–25, 2020 | UW-La Crosse

2020 Workshops

Group 1

Communicating with Robots | Allison Sauppe, Ph.D., Computer Science
Science fiction movies frequently predict that robots will be working with us some day - think of R2D2 and C3PO in Star Wars, Baymax in Big Hero 6, and Rosie in The Jetsons. In this workshop, we'll explore what social roboticists consider in order to build these futuristic robot helpers.

Cracking the Code: The Amazing Story of DNA | Basudeb Bhattacharyya, Ph.D., Chemistry/Biochemistry, Kelly Gorres, Ph.D., Chemistry/Biochemistry
What story consists of 3,000,000,000 letters, yet only has words made from 4 unique letters? Why it's the story of YOU! In this hands-on workshop, we will explore the biological and chemical nature of these letters, otherwise known as DNA. Come learn about this amazing molecule that makes us who we are!

Crime Scene Investigation: The Case of Jason Worth | Fay Ellis, M.S., Biology
A missing heir, Jason Worth, comes from a world of money, power and mystery. Use the skills of a forensic scientist to discover who kidnapped Jason Worth by analyzing blood samples, finger prints and other evidence to solve the crime.

Join the CIA: Become a CLIMATE Change INVESTIGATOR and AGENT | Donna Bossman, Ph.D., Trane Co.
We hear so much in the news about Climate Change. It may seem confusing, but let's look at the science and become investigators. What's climate vs. weather? What are greenhouse gases? Where do they come from? We'll make an example greenhouse gas (CO2), and you'll get to take apart and measure ice core layers to uncover how the earth's climate has changed over time. See and discuss examples of what you can do now and in future careers to help protect our planet's climate.

Solving Micro Mysteries | Anne Mach, M.S., Biology/Microbiology
How do we catch cheaters that take performance-enhancing drugs at the Olympics? How do we determine if our food is contaminated with disease-causing bacteria? Solving problems caused by agents we can’t see require ingenious solutions. Grab a microscope, a micropipette, and your Sherlock Holmes hat to sleuth mysteries that microbiologists solve.

Group 2

Communicating with Robots | Allison Sauppe, Ph.D., Computer Science
Science fiction movies frequently predict that robots will be working with us some day - think of R2D2 and C3PO in Star Wars, Baymax in Big Hero 6, and Rosie in The Jetsons. In this workshop, we'll explore what social roboticists consider in order to build these futuristic robot helpers.

Cracking the Code: the Amazing Story of DNA! | Basudeb Bhattacharyya, Ph.D., and Kelly Gorres, Ph.D., Chemistry and Biochemistry
What story consists of 3,000,000,000 letters, yet only has words made from 4 unique letters? Why it’s the story of YOU! In this hands-on workshop, we will explore the biological and chemical nature of these letters, otherwise known as DNA. Come learn about this amazing molecule that makes us who we are!

Measuring Movement | Hanni Cowley, PT, DPT, Physical Therapy
The human body is AMAZING! The brain sends electrical signals to contract muscles, and muscles pull on bones to create movements. Learn how technology can be used to measure muscle activity and capture human motion, as well as how this information can be used to improve health, prevent injuries, and even create realistic character movements in movies and video games!

Solving Micro Mysteries | Anne Mach, M.S., Biology/Microbiology
How do we catch cheaters that take performance-enhancing drugs at the Olympics? How do we determine if our food is contaminated with disease-causing bacteria? Solving problems caused by agents we can’t see require ingenious solutions. Grab a microscope, a micropipette, and your Sherlock Holmes hat to sleuth mysteries that microbiologists solve.

When Light and Matter Collide | Kendrick Nelson, Ph.D., Chemistry/Biochemistry
From the colors we see in a rainbow to glow-in-the-dark toys, light-matter interactions are the source of these phenomena. We will investigate what matter is and how light can be reflected, absorbed, and even emitted from matter. An investigation of some common household items with unusual light-matter interactions will be undertaken.

Group 3

Bouncy Ball Factory | Heidi Masters, Ph.D., Educational Studies
Who doesn't love playing with bouncy balls? Bouncy balls are even more fun when you get to engineer your own and test how well it bounces. Let's get together and bounce!

Crime Scene Investigation: The Case of Jason Worth | Fay Ellis, M.S., Biology
A missing heir, Jason Worth, comes from a world of money, power and mystery. Use the skills of a forensic scientist to discover who kidnapped Jason Worth by analyzing blood samples, finger prints and other evidence to solve the crime.

Fascinating Fungi | Todd Psmundson, Ph.D., Biology
Found in Harry Potter's herbology textbook and Lemony Snicket's ʺThe Grim Grotto,ʺ fungi can be as interesting in real life as they are in fiction. We will look at fungi up close in nature and under the microscope, and learn about their many roles from agents of death/disease/destruction to essential partners of plants and insects, natural recyclers, makers of medicine and other useful chemicals, and sources of delicious foods.

It's Electric! | Jennifer Docktor, Ph.D., Physics
Explore the science of electricity by making objects move without touching them, building circuits with light bulbs and motors, and making an electromagnet. It will be a hair-raising experience!

The Mighty Heart: See It, Feel It, Heart It, and Work It! | Sumei Lieu, Ph.D., Biology
The heart pumps blood throughout the body without rest for our entire lives. What is the heart made of and how does it work? In this workshop, you will learn the functions of the heart by seeing the heart model, feeling your pulses, hearing your heartbeats, and working your heart by different exercises.

Group 4

Bouncy Ball Factory | Heidi Masters, Ph.D., Educational Studies
Who doesn't love playing with bouncy balls? Bouncy balls are even more fun when you get to engineer your own and test how well it bounces. Let's get together and bounce!

Fascinating Fungi | Todd Psmundson, Ph.D., Biology
Found in Harry Potter's herbology textbook and Lemony Snicket's ʺThe Grim Grotto,ʺ fungi can be as interesting in real life as they are in fiction. We will look at fungi up close in nature and under the microscope, and learn about their many roles from agents of death/disease/destruction to essential partners of plants and insects, natural recyclers, makers of medicine and other useful chemicals, and sources of delicious foods.

It's Electric! | Jennifer Docktor, Ph.D., Physics
Explore the science of electricity by making objects move without touching them, building circuits with light bulbs and motors, and making an electromagnet. It will be a hair-raising experience!

The Mighty Heart: See It, Feel It, Heart It, and Work It! | Sumei Lieu, Ph.D., Biology
The heart pumps blood throughout the body without rest for our entire lives. What is the heart made of and how does it work? In this workshop, you will learn the functions of the heart by seeing the heart model, feeling your pulses, hearing your heartbeats, and working your heart by different exercises.

When Light & Matter Collide | Kendric Nelson, Ph.D., Chemistry/Biochemistry
From the colors we see in a rainbow to glow-in-the-dark toys, light-matter interactions are the source of these phenomena. We will investigate what matter is and how light can be reflected, absorbed, and even emitted from matter. An investigation of some common household items with unusual light-matter interactions will be undertaken.