Week 1, Day 4

We are off again to Crozet to learn about the wetland under construction on Crozet Ave and Jarman’s Gap Road. We will also meet with  Dr. Jonathan Miles from JMU. He is the state authority on wind power and was responsible for the windmill project at Henley Middle School.  Since early spring, Henley students have been using the daily data for math and weather experiments.

Ask your child about wind and solar power generation and to show you their turbine.

Thank you for sharing your children with us at E3 Science Camp. Have a good weekend.


Week 1, Day 3

Dr. Nikki Hastings introduced campers to blood vessel diseases and the unique processes developed and used by Hemoshear. This local company’s owner invented new ways to test blood vessel cells in the stresses of circulation in disease conditions. They have invented new stirring methods which expose the cells to the environment near the ascending carotid artery. Hemoshear uses this technology to test drug safety specific to human cells.

Ask your kids to describe the sealed tissue culture tanks, blood cells culture dishes, and incubators at 37 degrees C.


Week 1, Day 2

We hopped across town to OESH, the local shoe design shop and factory where women (and men with smaller feet) can find shoes that reduce the forces of walking and running on the knees and hips. Ann Mallek has been wearing them for over a year and has seen dramatic improvement in her knee and hip comfort. Dr. Casey Kerrigan is an MD and biomedical researcher, and the inventor. She learned in her years of research that knee forces are not assisted by the standard cushions in running shoes. She designed a dramatically different shoe with a carbon fiber insert to absorb some of the impact yet provide beneficial feedback to the joints.

Ask your kids about physics, a water cutter which cuts carbon fibers underwater, how the spring supports are made out of carbon fibers wrapped around a steel mandril, and the computer programmed milling machine. Dr. Kerrigan is bringing manufacturing back to Virginia, one pair of shoes at a time.


Week 1, Day 1

We travelled to Pollak Vineyard in Greenwood to meet Dr Stephen Brighton and his team of students from the University of Maryland. Dr Brighton has been studying the culture of Irish immigrants in the eastern US and was invited to the Greenwood area by members of the Clann Mhor Irish history group. Clann Mhor has been researching local census and tunnel project records from 1850 to 1860, to find details of the lives of the 2000 or more Irish workers who were recruited to build the Crozet Blue Ridge Tunnel from 1860 to 1868.

Ask your kids about anthropology and archeology, the study of humans and artifacts, as well as paleontology, the study of bones and fossils (think dinosaurs). Did you know there is a museum of trains in Clifton Forge? It is full of railroad project records for research.

Campers watched the students at work, digging soil in research pits or units, sifting the soil to find scraps of porcelain from dishes, a clay pipe, horseshoes, and other evidence of home life. Two old barns on the farm were used as a duplex house and a barracks for single men workers.