Kids Discover "Does It Work?" Camp

Every week, we bring you our continuing series "Does it Work?" where we test products to see if they stand up to their own advertising. Now, kids are getting into the act. The Discovery Science Center has developed a day camp based on the popular series.

Last December, Joe Terrell put the Crayola Crayon Maker to the "Does it Work?" test. First through third graders at Discovery Science Center's Day Camp thought that was a good idea. After watching a commercial for the color recycler, kids like Madison Weakley made up their own minds about whether the toy would work. "I thought it looked fun, but it didn't look like it could be done."

Kids today have a right to be skeptical. Even before he entered second grade, 7 year old Austin Childers had been disappointed by commercials on television. "One time, I bought this product for a mosquito. You put it close to them and you push this button and it makes a sound. It didn't work. The mosquito stayed right were it was."

"Kids are so influenced by what they see on TV and what they hear and what they see in the media." said the camp's teacher, Halley Terrell. "I thought it would be a really good experience for them to see how the things that they are bombarded with, how those things really work."

So all week, these campers will be testing toys like the Crayola Maker. At the same time, they're learning some science fundamentals like making a hypotheses, and the melting point of crayon wax. In the end, the morning's experiment turned up mixed results. It was not quite the glowing promises of the commercial, but still rather fun. "I think it can help people sometimes with their Crayola," said Childers.

Discovery Science Center hopes this week will help kids make better decisions the next time they go shopping. The rest of this week, the "Does it Work" Day Camp will test several products, including Fruit Roll- Ups Tongue Tattoos, bubbles you eat, and the Hot Wheels Car Factory.

Stephen Parr, reporting.