This past Thursday, we started our Get Real! Science Summer Science TEAM – a one-week summer camp we run with the teachers at Sodus Jr.-Sr. High School. On Thursday, the students spent most of the day learning about each team and getting sorted into their team for the week. Today we got the chance to dig in and start our investigation.
Today, we spent a lot of time learning about aerial photography. We wanted to attach a GoPro camera to a bunch of helium balloons and take a video of a waterway from the air! The students had a blast designing and building the housing to protect their cameras and attach them to the balloons.
It turns out that our biggest balloon was quickly deflating, so we weren’t able to get our cameras as high as we’d hoped! Still, we learned a lot about what factors you need to consider when building an aerial camera rig – how will you keep the camera steady? How will you keep the camera safe? How heavy can the rig be and still fly? How do you design a rig that you can easily get a camera in and out of (no, you can’t just duct tape the camera to the balloons!)?
My biggest struggle at camp so far has been adapting to change. We have been planning this camp for months, and yet we still end up having to make major changes just days before an investigation we have planned! On the drive home from Sodus today, the Ex-stream Team discussed changing our schedule to fit most of our outdoor investigations in tomorrow in case it rains on Wednesday. As I write this, it has just started to rain outside my window, and the forecasted thunderstorms in Sodus for tomorrow have moved up a few hours to coincide with camp. So a new last-minute plan is born! We now have two plans, one for if the thunderstorm holds off, and one (much less intensively planned) for if it doesn’t. We really won’t know which plan to use until hour(s) before camp tomorrow, when we see what the weather has brought us. Until then… it’s still up in the air.