Starbase Atlantis Gets Kids Excited About Math And Science - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

07/31/03

Starbase Atlantis Gets Kids Excited About Math And Science

Youngsters from the Forest Heights Boys and Girls Club are spending a week of summer camp at the Gulfport Seabee Base.

They're learning math and science in a special program called "Starbase Atlantis".

The hands on activities are also teaching teamwork and discipline.

Adding fire to a milk bottle helps explain a lesson about air. Higher pressure pushes an egg into the bottle. The students also know how changing air pressure can get that same egg back out.

Adding air to the bottle does the trick. The teacher blows into the bottle, and the egg slowly plops out of the milk bottle opening.

Starbase Atlantis helps make math and science fun.

Sharon Saucier is program director for the Forest Heights Boys and Girls Club.

"They've had quite a week. It has been enjoyable from the classroom all the way out into the field," she said.

Seabee, Frederick Welch, introduced the kids to some basic physics applications.

"We have these rigs designed, made out of basic lumber and pulleys and lines, that will make lifting heavy objects in a small confined space easier," he said.

Kid power alone can't budge a 350 pound weight.  The youngsters tried, but failed to lift the rock on their own.

"I can't do it. It was too heavy," said Eliza Edwards.

That's where science and mechanical engineering intervene. Pulleys and ropes ease the burden.

"You want to try lifting this block now. All right. Heave!," said Seabee Welch.

"Heave, there you go!", he said.

Starbase Atlantis puts the scientific principles into practice.

"Simple principles get put to work on an everyday basis in a lot of the jobs that the Seabees do. So it's a perfect match up for seeing what the military does," explained director, Shelley Bard.

The hands on activity keeps it fun, while letting the kids know learning science and math isn't so challenging after all.

By Steve Phillips

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