Andrew Pena watched as light blue, dark blue and green paint sprinkled onto a sheet of white paper.
The 8-year-old picked up his paint-splattered paper and admired the swirl of colors.
“I chose the colors because I wanted to make it look like our planet,” Andrew said. “I’ve learned that the Earth orbits the sun and the moon orbits us ... I like everything about our planet.”
Andrew was one of more than a dozen campers at the Museum of the Coastal Bend’s Beginner Science Camp. The museum hosted the camp during the first week of June, kicking off a summer full of camps.
Amanda Lanum, the education coordinator at the museum, said this is the first year the museum offered a beginner science camp for children entering kindergarten through third grade. Usually, Lanum said, the museum would have a week of beginner archaeology class.
However, archaeology could be a little difficult for the age group, she said. To change things up and to keep campers from growing bored, Lanum decided to go cover a different aspect of science each day of the four-day camp.
Campers learned about chemistry, archaeology, paleontology and engineering.
“That way, the kids can keep interacting and working with each other,” Lanum said. “It also exposes the kids to different types of science experiments.”
Thursday, the campers created a marble run for an engineering lesson. The children used up to three different paint colors to sprinkle onto a paper, and the kids later drew out a maze to guide the marble.
Lanum said all the projects are hands-on, and the children learn team-building skills during experiments.
“I have never met a child who did not want to help another,” she said. “We’re having fun.”
Reagan Mercer said her favorite experiment was making slime. To make slime, Reagan said, a person needs to mix water, glue and food coloring.
“The slime can be really watery at first and be really, really messy,” Reagan, 7, said. “I’ve learned that I need to be prepared for messy science experiments.”
Camper Violet Moose thrives in messy learning, she said. The 8-year-old was all smiles after creating her marble run using pink, yellow and white paint. Her favorite experiment was putting Mentos into a bottle of Coke, which she said “went everywhere.”
“It’s just really fun for me,” Violet said.
Dinosaurs are the most interesting thing Violet has learned about, she said.
“We learned what the dinosaurs ate, which could be meat, plants or insects,” Violet said. “I’ve had so much fun here.”