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© Armand-Frappier Museum

Through its five science camps, the Armand-Frappier Museum offers 6 to 13 years old kids the opportunity to have fun while discovering the universe of the biosciences. The program's activities take place in French.

Biosciences camp

The Biosciences camp is for young people from 6 to 8 years of age. This camp allows the children to discover multiple facets of the biosciences: microbiology, biology, biochemistry, immunology, and company! Here are some of the experiments that will be done by the participants:

  • Living or nonliving?
    Plant, animal, rock... What is alive? The children answer this big question, using their sense of observation… and their magnifying glasses!
  • Nutrients in my food: for my growth and development
    By working with different foods from the food groups in the laboratory, the children discover that foods contain lipids, proteins, carbohydrates, and vitamins. No food containing peanuts, nuts, or fish will be used.
  • Decomposition, can this be considered recycling?
    With both hands in the earth, sand, gravel…the children will discover what is biodegradable and how this is possible. They will meet living organisms, invisible to the naked eye, but who work overtime!
  • Put the human back together for me!
    I have two eyes, that’s wise; two feet, that’s neat; one nose, I suppose! But where are they? We need to put all the missing organs on our human.
  • White blood cells are fascinating !
    The campers don immunologists’ lab coats and discover white blood cells, genuine little soldiers that protect us from microscopic invaders! The program: observations using a microscope, white blood cell Olympics, and a giant memory game.
  • The chemistry of bread-making
    After donning their aprons, the young bakers will discover the various steps in bread-making, mainly the important role of yeasts in obtaining a good, soft, and chewy bread. Bread making, it’s science!
  • Germ-chasing spices
    The campers put on the lab coats of food microbiologists and study the antimicrobial power of well-known spices, such as cinnamon and oregano. Their discoveries could lead to the development of more natural and safe food preservatives…

No virulent microorganisms or hazardous products will be used in these experiments.

Environment camp

The Environment camp is geared to young people from 8 to 10 years of age. Participants will discover various life forms and learn how human activities can affect those life forms and the environment. Here are some examples of activities in the environment and biodiversity camp:

  • Food-loving microorganisms useful to the environment!
    Just like us, microorganisms must nourish themselves but what happens when what they are eating is helping us to clean up our environment and repair human errors? During this workshop, participants will discover how bacteria can help in the bioremediation of waterways following a petroleum spill.
  • Invisible to the naked eye but very present in soil!
    It is not because we can't see them that they are not there! Microorganisms are found everywhere in the environment, even in soil. In this experiment, participants will isolate microorganisms present in soil to better observe them and their diversity.
  • Oil spillages
    The participants will simulate the effect of an oil spillage on a fresh water environment, a salt water environment, and on the feathers of birds.
  • Who eats whom?
    With this experiment, the participants will gain an understanding of the food chain in which plants are eaten by herbivores, who, in turn, are ingested by carnivores, who, when dead, are decomposed by microbes into food for the plants.

No virulent micro-organisms or hazardous products will be used in these experiments.

Immunology camp - NEW in 2018!

The Immunology camp is intended for young people between the ages of8 and 10. It aims to demonstrate the amazing defense system of the human body, the immune system that drives away thousands of invaders on a daily basis. Here are a few examples of experiments that are carried out during the week:

  • Observation of white blood cells under the microscope
    This experiment is designed to teach how to manipulate a microscope and to develop an appreciation of its utility in discovering the types of white blood cells that make up the immune system. Lymphocytes, macrophages, basophils...will the campers succeed in distinguishing them? The challenge is on!
  • Chasing molds
    Swab in hand, search for areas favorable to the presence of molds and take some samples. Inoculate the nutrient gels on which the collected molds will grow. Discover the means to reduce the presence of these microscopic fungi that are sometimes the target of the immune system and the cause of allergies.
  • Searching for antibodies
    Micropipettes in hand, search for IgE antibodies in the serum of a fictive patient whom we suspect suffers from an allergy to various pollens. Carry out a key experiment in immunology: an ELISA test. With your team, discuss the results obtained and come up with a diagnosis!

No dangerous microorganism or product will be used.

Microbiology camp

The Microbiology camp is geared towards young people from 8 to 10 years of age. Its goal is to introduce the participants to the world of the infinitely small. Here are some of the experiments that will be done by the participants:

  • Observation of microbes under the microscope
    This experiment teaches the student to manipulate a microscope and to appreciate its usefulness in discovering the great diversity of the "microworld".
  • Reveal the invisible
    This experiment consists of taking microbes in the environment and depositing them on special food that will allow them to multiply and thus become visible to the naked eye.
  • Coloring microbes
    This experiment consists of putting microbes onto a small glass plate and coloring them so they become visible under the microscope.
  • Beware of the spread of germs…
    The students will discover that there are several ways to become contaminated by a germ and that it’s easy for them to transmit it to others. What can be done to prevent propagation? This is what the campers will explore through this amusing experiment!
  • The usefulness of microbes in the manufacture of food products
    In these experiments, the participants will discover the usefulness of certain microbes in the manufacture of yogurt or cheese.
  • Destroying harmful microbes
    These experiments will allow the participants to test the effectiveness of various products such as mouthwash, bleach, or vinegar against certain microbes.

No virulent microorganisms or hazardous products will be used in these experiments.

Neurosciences camp

The Neurosciences camp will interest mainly young people between 8 and 10 years of age. They will learn to demystify one of the most complex and fascinating organs, the human brain! Here are a few experiments that will be carried out by the participants:

  • Evolving brains
    Skull replicas and preserved brains in hand, the budding scientists discover how the skull and brain of man have changed with evolution. Using microscopes, they observe the differences between the brains of birds, fish, and mammals as well as cerebral tissue.
  • The electric brain
    The participants demystify the functioning of brain neurons, unique cells that function, among other things... with electricity! Using electroencephalograph helmets, they measure the electric activity of their own brains. Demanding mental arithmetic, lively discussions, relaxation, listening to music: how will the brains of the young campers react?
  • Skull stories
    The participants discover a few significant and sometimes surprising steps in the history of the neurosciences.
  • The brain under high protection
    The participants learn more regarding the structures that protect their brain, notably the skull and the meninges. They manipulate a semi-permeable membrane to demystify the functioning of the blood-brain barrier. Like a very selective filter, this barrier will allow only certain molecules to reach the brain from the blood...but which ones?
  • Test your stress!
    The budding neuroscientists test the effect of adrenaline, one of the stress hormones, on the heart rate of small shellfish. They also carry out an amusing experiment on human stress.

No dangerous microorganism or product will be used.

Biotechnology camp

The Biotechnology camp is geared towards young people from 11 to 13 years of age. This camp revolves around the discovery of DNA and its functions, the building blocks of life. Here are some examples of the Biotechnology camp's activities:

  • DNA
    A series of activities and experiments will be devoted to the discovery of DNA, the molecule present in every living being. Like an instruction leaflet, DNA dictates how a human, a plant, or a microbe is made! During these activities, the participants will extract the DNA from the cell of an onion, cut this DNA into small segments, have these segments advance in a sort of gel, color them, and finally make the DNA visible.
  • Why do I have brown eyes?
    During this activity, the participants will discover the rules that govern the transmission of characteristics such as the color of eyes or hair.
  • DNA: a little, a lot, passionately!
    DNA is the recipe to build and keep every living being alive. But what happens when it fails? And what if it is used too much or too little? To find out, you will need to work with the DNA chip.
  • Creation of a fluorescent microbe
    Participants will insert genetic information, originating from a jellyfish, into a bacterium. The bacterium will then become fluorescent in the dark!
  • Meeting with a scientist
    In this mentoring activity, some scientists at the INRS- Institut Armand-Frappier open the doors of their laboratories and allow the campers to ask all their questions on the universe of scientific research.

No virulent micro-organisms or hazardous products will be used in these experiments.

Human health camp

The Human health camp is geared to young people 11 to 13 years of age. This camp will reveal to the participant the mysteries of human anatomy and physiology, and help him understand how the human body interacts with its environment. Here are a few examples of experiments carried out by the participants:

  • Come to your senses!
    Hearing, smell, sight…The senses that allow living beings to interact with the environment are controlled by the nervous system. During this workshop, participants will test their senses through a series of amusing experiments.
  • From the kitchen to the lab!
    Carbohydrates, proteins, vitamins, saturated and unsaturated fats, mercury…What does our food contain and what does it do to the human body? In the laboratory, the participants will verify the vitamin C content of various foods using colorimetric determination.

No virulent microorganisms or hazardous products will be used in these experiments.

Outdoor activities

Activities are organized to keep the children entertained between laboratory periods. Rest and lunch periods are held outdoors, weather permitting.