Campers look on in awe as Vicki White, the science lady, demonstates how different powder elements burn in different colors at spring break science camp at Old Orchard Park on Tuesday, April 4, 2017. Katharine Lotze/The Signal
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Students from across the Santa Clarita were on fire for science during Vicki White’s week-long Hands-On Science Spring Break Camp.

Nicknamed “The Science Lady,” White brings experiments and fun to students of all ages through STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Mathematics) education.

“I do old-fashioned science,” White said.  “It’s the stuff that the kids don’t do anymore in school.”

Charles Phelps holds his prism glasses on his face at Vicki White, “the science lady’s” spring break science camp at Old Orchard Park on Tuesday, April 4, 2017. Katharine Lotze/The Signal

The spring break camp, for students who were ages 5 ½ to 12, included projects about rocks, minerals, physics, chemistry and biology.  Students made concoctions that changed color, goo that glowed in the dark, superballs that bounce to the ceiling and more.

“I like learning new things,” 9-year-old Annalisa Phelps said.

On Tuesday afternoon, a group of students sat at tables and watched in awe as White demonstrated how different elements like calcium, barium and copper created different colors as they were burned in solid form.

Vicki White demonstrates how magnesium burns and is used in fireworks during her spring break science camp at Old Orchard Park on Tuesday, April 4, 2017. Katharine Lotze/The Signal

“Woah!  It looks like rainbows!” the students all shouted as White burned the chemicals together as a finale.

White also burned the elements in their liquid form within aluminum trays.  Using ether alcohol and a blow torch, the elements changed the flame colors to orange, green, red and blue.

“It’s like an indoor camp fire,” White said.

The students also studied a chemical reaction as the liquid copper solution burned the bottom of the aluminum tin without any either alcohol or flames.

Campers watch as liquid chemical elements are poured into dishes at Vicki White, “the science lady’s” spring break science camp at Old Orchard Park on Tuesday, April 4, 2017. Katharine Lotze/The Signal

“Remember the one I didn’t add anything to?  Just by leaving this chemical in with aluminum I burnt the bottom of this aluminum tray,” White said.

White also led the students in how to create their own lava lamps using a plastic test tube, vegetable oil, water and color tablets.

“Water and oil don’t mix.  It puts one on top of the other,” 9-year-old Isabella Phelps said.

When the solution was added and students flipped their test tube, different colored bubbles floated to the top.

Isabella, left, and Annalisa Phelps, right, watch as Vicki White pours cooking oil into plastic beakers at the afternoon session of her spring break science camp at Old Orchard Park on Tuesday, April 4, 2017. Katharine Lotze/The Signal

White said she loves to teach students about science and show them different experiments during her camps.

“To see their faces when they guess stuff and do this, I love it,” she said.  “I do it so they have fun.”

Throughout the year, White visits schools in the Santa Clarita Valley, the Antelope Valley, Los Angeles County, Ventura County and Maui, where she now lives.

Isabella Phelps, center, watches closely through her prism glasses at Vicki White, “the science lady’s” spring break science camp at Old Orchard Park on Tuesday, April 4, 2017. Katharine Lotze/The Signal

She also hosts camps during the summer and fall with themes like Engineer’s Camp, Super Spy Science, Women of Science Rule, Einstein Junior, Planet Earth, Space Camp and Med School Biology 101.

“I like the dissecting one,” 9-year-old Sebastian Nelie who has attended camps in the summer, winter and spring for more than two years.  “I like to come back.”

ccox@signalscv.com
661-287-5575
On Twitter as @_ChristinaCox_

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Christina Cox
Christina Cox is a multimedia journalist covering education, community and breaking news in the Santa Clarita Valley. She joined The Signal as a staff writer in August 2016.
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