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Learning the life of a famous spy

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Secret agent “white tiger” used the walkie talkie to direct another agent wearing vision impairment goggles. (Star Gazette photo by Michelle Wirth)2 / 6
Students used a light bulb during a project that would light up the bulb using a battery and wires. (Star Gazette photo by Michelle Wirth)3 / 6
The students were given edible paper and pens with edible ink to write secret messages. They ate the message to keep it out of the wrong hands, just like a spy. (Star Gazette photo by Michelle Wirth)4 / 6
Students looked through periscopes. (Star Gazette photo by Michelle Wirth)5 / 6
Agent Leopard listened in on conversations using a listening device. (Star Gazette photo by Michelle Wirth)6 / 6

The gadgets of fictional spies like James Bond came to life at the Tilden Community Center last week at the Secret Agent camp through Mad Science of Minnesota. Ten children ages 7-12 got to learn what being a spy is all about and learn about the science behind some spy technology.

Camp instructor Sandy Fuller, codename “Terp,” said the kids have shown a great deal of interest in the camp topic.

“They are here because they want to be spies,” she said.

On the first day of camp, each child came up with a secret agent “code name” that they would use in reference to each other for the rest of the week. The kids chose names like Cheetah, Bozer, 005, White Tiger, Leopard, Curley and more.

The secret agents learned how to write secret messages, decode messages, how to open a safe, how to spy on conversations with listening tools and more. The kids learned how to apply some of their spy knowledge in group activities and games.

Fuller showed the kids how to make a message disappear in style. She wrote the message “Help!” on a piece of paper and lit it on fire. The message disappeared into thin air with the children gasping in amazement. She had used flash paper, which is commonly used by magicians. Then she brought out some edible paper for the kids to write secret messages with edible ink. They ate their message before someone could use the information against them.

At the end of the camp each child received suave sunglasses in true spy form. They were black sunglasses with mirrors on the side, ready for any spy mission that may come their way.

Michelle Wirth

Michelle Wirth graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire in 2013 with a degree in journalism and web design. She worked as a web content editor for a trade association before coming to the Hastings Star Gazette in 2016.

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