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UTSI ASM Materials Camp ‘Successful’; Two Other Camps Set for Youths in July

Elated over the success of week-long camp for 18 area young people, a University of Tennessee Space Institute professor is gearing up for two other camps aimed at young people this month.

“We are very pleased with our first ASM Materials Camp,” said Bill Hofmeister, director of UTSI’s Center for Laser Applications. “The instructors worked hard to create learning challenges, and the students really responded well. We are creating new ways to learn about science and having fun with the process.”

Hofmeister opened various CLA labs for the youths during the materials camp June 26-30, and two representatives of the ASM Materials Education Foundation — Jeane Deatherage, ASM administrator, foundation programs, and Scott Giesler, ASM Society program coordinator — participated.

“Our most ambitious program,” Hofmeister said, “is the Computation Science Camp” sponsored by CLA July 24-Aug. 4 for 16 students and four teachers.

“Eighth, ninth, and tenth-grade students will learn science through the use of very sophisticated computer programs similar to ‘The SIMS.’ Both students and teachers will be amazed at their own abilities when they learn to use some of the computational tools. This program is on the cutting edge of science education.”

The Shodor Foundation will facilitate the Computation Science Camp.

A “Mad Science Camp” is scheduled July 17-21 with 50 fifth and sixth-graders registered from Franklin County and Tullahoma schools. It is co-sponsored by CLA and UTSI, Sverdrup, Good Shepherd, and the ARES Corp.

“This Mad Science Camp is designed to interest young kids in math and science,” Hofmeister said.

Deatherage pointed out that the ASM Materials Education Foundation introduced the ASM Materials Camp program in 2000 with one camp and 30 high school students. This camp was held at ASM Headquarters in Materials Park, Ohio.

“Thanks to our volunteers, such as the mentors and organizers of the UTSI camp, the program has grown at a rapid rate. We now have more than 40 camps (for students and teachers) throughout the United States, Canada, and camps in India and Kuwait.

Youths attending UTSI’s Materials camp were Lina, Lora, and Ziad Aboulmouna, Samatha Bartee, Kelly Carter, Adam Cox, Karimeh Moukadden, Larissa and Jesse Wenren, all from Tullahoma High; Kaley Babilon, Blake Bruce, Eric Daniel Francisco, Sarah Fried, and Nathan Slone, Coffee County High; Connie Menako, Coffee County Middle School; Veronica Scarlett, Franklin County High; Ashley Duncan and Daniel Sherrouse, Manchester, home school.

Trevor Moeller, research associate professor, one of those assisting in the recent camp, also supervised competition in launching water rockets and other projects.

Three CLA post-doctoral research associates – Lino Costa, Xiaoxuan (Shaun) Li, and Yelena White — supervised various hands-on lab activities demonstrating learning principles of applied math, physics, and chemistry.

For example Costa led his group in learning how changes in atmospheric pressure affect the melting and boiling temperatures of water – and how they might use this information to obtain drinking water on the planet Mars.

White and her charges worked on a water undercooling experiment while Li used ping-pong balls (mimicking atoms) to help students calculate the maximum atomic packing density in materials with so-called “close-packed” structure. Also working with the students was Pavlina Pike, UTSI research associate.