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Imaginations, Creativity Soar With Camp Invention curriculum

Highly touted program encourages students to explore STEM

Published: May 21, 2017 12:00 AM
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NORTH CANTON -- Camp Invention, the nation's premier summer enrichment program for children entering kindergarten through sixth grade, is back for another action-packed summer. During this weeklong day camp, children are empowered to have big ideas while they take on challenges that inspire them to question, brainstorm, work as a team and build their very own prototypes.

Camp Invention is a program of the National Inventors Hall of Fame, a nonprofit organization dedicated to honoring, challenging and inspiring innovation. Founded in 1973 in partnership with the United States Patent and Trademark Office, NIHF's education programs provide a unique experience for children to learn about the importance of Intellectual Property while they explore, create and design.

Camp Invention goes to various locations in the area for their weeklong camps. Seton Catholic School will host the camp the week of June 5 -9. Regional program sponsors include The Burton D. Morgan Foundation, GAR Foundation, The Ohio Lottery, and American Electric Power.

Through the use of hands-on activities, Camp Invention promotes science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) learning -- as well as builds 21st-century skills -- in a fun and engaging environment. The program features new curriculum each year, which is inspired by some of our nation's most brilliant minds -- the National Inventors Hall of Fame Inductees.

"If you go to Camp Invention, it is so great to watch the kids, but it's even better to sit down at their tables," said Steve Sasson, inventor of the digital camera and 2011 NIHF Inductee. "The kids take pieces from old devices and put them together to create a new object that solves a problem, and they collectively work on this around a small table. If you sit and actually listen to them and how they describe their invention, it's powerful, because they feed off each other -- and that's how inventions really are created."

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This year's Camp Invention curriculum features several video challenges from NIHF Inductees encouraging children to explore their innovativeness and pitch their unique ideas. Hands-on modules include:

Duct Tape Billionaire: Campers design duct tape products they can market and sell to mock investors;

Have a Blast: Children build high-tech Bubble Blasters and compete as a team in friendly air battles that use physics to boost their advantage;

Mission Space Makers: Teams hatch eggs, sprout living plants and grow crystal trees, all while on a mission to locate and prepare a new planet for human habitation; and

Operation Keep Out: Campers learn to reverse engineer old machines and devices, and use their parts to create the ultimate Spy Gadget Alarm Box.

"Camp Invention opens up the world of science and engineering for young scientists," said Tracy M., mother of three campers. "It encourages children to look at ordinary recycled items and see the unlimited possibilities. Camp Invention builds confidence and creativity while teaching science concepts."

Camp Invention prides itself on using problem-based learning and hands-on activities to tackle the fears of STEM education and enables students to embrace the art of innovation. According to ChangeMaker Consulting, a third-party market research and analytics firm, the model is working. Data analysis from Camp Invention satisfaction surveys indicated that parents saw a significant increase in their children's interest and confidence in STEM after attending Camp Invention.

To find a camp near you, visit www.campinvention.org.

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