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Junior Scientist

Dates: June 21, 2021-June 25, 2021

Time: 1:00pm – 4:00pm

Cost: $299

Age: Rising 1st – Rising 3rd Grades

Gender: CO-ED

Location: Lower School modular

What to bring: set of color pencils, water bottle, snack

Jr. Scientists camp is a place where young students can experience the beauty and excitement of scientific discovery. We will have fun with dynamic activities and projects while learning about basic scientific principles. Each day, participants will work on projects that they take home when complete. We will take a snack break and recess midway through the afternoon. Sometime during the week, time and weather permitting, we’ll take a nature hike and practice scientific illustration while collecting interesting natural objects. Favorite camp projects over the years have included: 

  • secret pictures with color decoders, color mixing with jelly crystals, UV light detectors; 
  • liquid interactions: oil and water, making an ocean in a bottle;
  • soap bubbles and giant bubble wands (2 ft. diameter bubbles); 
  • hand-launched foam rockets; 
  • fossil explorations

Followup activities will be suggested for home use, and a list of suppliers will be provided at the end of the week, a great source for science-based gifts. 


Instructor: Patrick Knox was already a young scientist by second grade. In fourth grade he memorized the systems of the human body, built a duplex for his breeding pair of gerbils, and started to take various things apart and put them back together. (Sometimes these  reassembled items miraculously began to work again.) The chemistry set that he received when he turned 10 set the stage for much experimentation, leading ultimately to degrees in chemistry and education from NCSU. While attending college, he and his seven cats designed and built their own house, in the woods on a creek leading to the then brand-new Falls Lake. He collects animal pets of all kinds, and travels as often and as widely as possible. He has rebuilt automobile engines (which did begin to work again). He once designed and built a van-sized mock-up of a spaceship—the “Sound Shuttle”--for a high-end car stereo store. His professional work life began as a precision model maker, then chemist at RTI, and museum educator at the North Carolina Museum of Life & Science. Finally at age 35 he found his true calling as an elementary science teacher, founding the Ravenscroft Lower School Science Lab in 1990. Six years in the lab led to two years teaching high school science at Ravenscroft, and then 8 years teaching sixth grade science and math at The Duke School. In 2008, he returned back to Ravenscroft to work in the LS science lab. He retired in 2020.