Teens Having A Blast At Explosives Camp

SOCORRO, N.M. June 21, 2010 – Nine high school students are learning the science and engineering of explosives at the second annual Explosives Camp at New Mexico Tech this week.

Teenagers from New Mexico, Wisconsin, Colorado, Arizona, and Texas are spending the week in classrooms, laboratories, and field tests with national experts in the field.  Each day’s activities begin with a lecture by a prominent instructor currently working in the explosives field.

“In this day and age, the world needs more scientists who understand the basic science of explosives and the finer points of studying energetic materials,” said Dr. Christa Hockensmith, program director. “We launched this program last year because it’s important to develop future explosives’ experts and because the campers are going to have an experience they’ll never forget.”

The intensive camp includes lessons in the history of explosives, the physics and chemistry of explosives, chemistry, instrumentation, blast effects and industrial applications of explosives. On Thursday, the campers will take a daylong field trip to a construction company. Students also get plenty of social activities in the evenings, including movies, bowling, swimming, golf and cook-outs.

“These students are going to have incredible amounts of fun,” Hockensmith said. “They will not only get to see explosions, but also they can set them up, detonate them, learn how to evaluate explosives in our chemistry laboratories and find out how to protect buildings.”

– NMT –

By Thomas Guengerich/New Mexico Tech