First session of Explosives Camp starts June 8

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On June 4, 2008

The skin and bone structure of a chicken are
very similar to the composition of a human hand — which is why blowing up a
thawed out chicken from the store provides a good lesson in explosives safety,
according to Dr. Paul Worsey, who runs the world’s only hands-on Explosives
Camp for high school students in Rolla,

Worsey, an explosives expert and professor of
mining engineering at Missouri University of Science and Technology, started
the summer camp in 2004, when three students attended. Now in its fifth year,
the camp has become so popular that three sessions are being offered this June
(June 8-14, June 15-21 and June

The 2008 camp sessions, which have long since
filled up, are limited to 20 students each. All of the campers have expressed
interest in pursuing a mining engineering degree at Missouri S&T or
elsewhere. Missouri S&T is the only university in the nation that offers an
explosives engineering minor as part of its mining engineering

In addition to blowing up chickens, the
campers feel concussions from underground explosions, help generate a 150-foot
water spout, experience demolition demonstrations and fashion fireworks

“A bunch of my friends were really jealous
when they found out I was going to Explosives Camp,” says Jennifer Babb, of St.
Louis, one of last year’s

The students come from as far away as Hawaii
to learn the art of blowing stuff up. Many of the activities take place at
Missouri S&T’s Experimental Mine. Each day, the campers participate in
classroom instruction and safety training before initiating an

“It has to be planned out,” Babb says. “It’s
not just boom, boom,

Worsey makes sure everybody learns a lot,
wears their safety goggles and ear plugs, and has a good time. He says he
really enjoys watching the students’ reactions when they experience the
percussion of a big
blast.         “It just
hits you right in the face,” says Harrison Ray, of Harrison, Ark., another one
of last year’s

Those planning to attend the 2008 sessions are
all U.S. citizens who are at least 16 years old. The cost of the camp,
including room, board and field trips, is $500.

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On June 4, 2008. Posted in News