SCI Camps: Wizard Mania

SCI Camps: Wizard Mania

By: Kathleen Diedrich, SCI Summer Camp Educator

What's going on at SCI Summer Camp this month? Kathleen Diedrich, a SCI Summer Camp Educator, gives a behind-the-scenes look at one of her 1st-2nd grade camps, Wizard Mania.

During Wizard Mania camp, the kids took the "Wizarding Oath" to only use the magic tricks and spells they learned for good. Using their brand new wizard wands, their handmade flying broomsticks (made from Elder Wood, of course) and their magical wizard hats, the kids made Butter Beer, floating gloves, levitating ice, color changing potions, turned invisible and played a competitive game of Quidditch.

Beyond simply magic tricks, the kids learned and were able to explain the science behind movie magic and effects, magicians' secrets and science's role in the world of wizardry. 

Sprinkling salt over an ice cube allowed students to perform a levitation trick with string. Simple table salt melts the ice cube, and the string's fibers freeze to the cube. The ice cube appeared to be levitated only by holding the string up in the air. 

Campers used a simple vinegar and baking soda reaction to make a rubber glove float in air. This reaction created carbon dioxide, filling up the glove with gas - just like a balloon! This vinegar and baking soda combination also created fizzy, bubbly potions. Some potions even changed colors with time-releasing food coloring. 

Over the course of the week, the wizards-in-training tried their hands at mind reading and tricks of perception. Changing the positioning of different objects makes some appear larger and some smaller, a trick used in many films to create the look of giants or small people. We taught the campers a partner mind reading trick to convince an audience that they have telepathic powers. 

Each wizard had the opportunity to choose which type of wood would work best for their broomsticks, each wood having different flying qualities. Some woods are best for independent people or those who like to travel. Other woods fly quickly but are hard to control. One wood even responds only to its owner. Campers chose the type of wood that best fit their personalities and their needs. 

Registration is still available for select camps through August 16. Learn more at sciowa.org/camps.

Category: Camps