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UTSI’s ASM Materials & Camp a “Rocketing” Success

Some very young scientists have been performing experiments at The University of Tennessee Space Institute this summer. In June, 23 high school students from all over southern middle Tennessee congregated at UTSI to spend a week at ASM MaterialsSM Camp. Campers had a tremendous amount of fun at UTSI and enjoyed the beautiful campus, nestled in the woods and next to Woods Reservoir. Students tested the strength of carbon fiber against a human hair and fishing line, measured the ability of a hot dog, versus a bratwurst, to evenly conduct heat (just before eating them), donned “bunny suits” and took a tour of UTSI’s new clean room, learned how to boil water on Mars, and even built and launched their own rockets on the final day of camp.

These hands-on experiments were led by UTSI Professor William Hofmeister and his research staff, including Yelena White, Lino Costa and Shaun Li, Carole Thomas and several undergraduate summer interns. The students got to work with UTSI’s world-class equipment and research materials. As much fun as camp was, the campers also learned a remarkable amount of science. Each morning of camp, Hofmeister presented the students with new scientific challenges and sent them off in their teams to perform experiments and find the answers. Their experiments taught them about material selection, lasers and communication, crystallization, energy conservation, propulsion and much more. Campers learned what it takes to survive in the unfriendly atmosphere of Mars, and how to replicate the resources available on Earth.

ASM MaterialsSM Camp is directly sponsored by ASM International, the society for materials engineers and scientists, a worldwide network dedicated to advancing industry, technology, and applications of metals and materials. This is the second year this camp has been offered at UTSI.

UTSI offers enrichment programs for area youth all though the year, call Carole Thomas at 931-393-7485 for more information on summer camps, tours and other programs. All of UTSI’s youth programs are open to public school, private school, or home-schooled students.

DO YOU THINK THAT’S ENOUGH?—ASM MaterialsSM Campers Greg Ray and Navya Raghoji from Coffee County High School are shown here trying to determine the right amount of water to add to their crystallization experiment. –UTSI Photo by Yelena White

CAMPERS IN CLEAN ROOM—Local students are shown here in UTSI’s new clean room watching Yelena White perform an experiment to see if a laser can be made with jello during ASM MaterialsSM Camp. Shown from left to right are Tori Marble from Tullahoma High School, Brandon Champion from Coffee County High School, Chloe Davenport from Huntland High School, Ben Warf and Zach Penland from Franklin County High School and UTSI’s Yelena White.         –UTSI Photo by Shanna Relford

CHECKING OUT THE LASER—Inside UTSI’s new clean room, Camper Ksenia Kuznetsova from Tullahoma High School checks out a working laser through safety goggles. Teammates David Vanzant from Franklin County High School, Joshua McKoon from Cascade High School in Bell Buckle, A.J. Cragar from FCHS and Dustin Meadows from THS are shown left to right in the back. 
–UTSI Photo by Yelena White