What do you get when you mix creativity, curiosity and collaboration? Camp Invention!
Mansfield ISD held its second annual Camp Invention during June 13-17 at Brenda Norwood Elementary School and Erma Nash Elementary School. The camp, sponsored by the National Inventors Hall of Fame, is a place where students entering kindergarten through sixth grade can solve real-world problems through lessons based on science, technology, engineering and math (STEM).
“My favorite thing about Camp Invention is that it really focuses on innovative and creative thinking,” said Ashley Kettler, the camp director at Norwood Elementary. “Watching students create ideas and design them and make them come alive is really amazing.”
The summer camp features a new STEM curriculum every year that embraces hands-on learning. This year, the campers worked together to take on four exciting challenges.
“Spacecation” taught the campers about space exploration and navigation. In “The Attic,” students learned about animation and spin art. Students at “Marble Arcade” used math to build a pinball-like course, and “Robotic Aquatics” had kids creating robots that functioned underwater.
Although there were lots to learn, the ability for the kids to collaborate with peers while having fun is something that was remembered by the little inventors.
“What I liked about it is that I met new people that will be in STEM next year, and I have a preview of new people so that when we’re over there, I’ll already have a head start,” said Anna Agyei-Akuoko, an incoming fifth grader.
There are more than 1,000 Camp Invention programs run nationwide in schools, community centers and other local facilities. They are all led by qualified local educators who love seeing kids develop their critical thinking.
“It’s just so much fun watching the kids smile and lightbulbs go off,” said Kettler. “And the relationships that they build with teachers and leaders and kids across the entire district—it’s really awesome.”
Camp Invention has a presence in all 50 states, Puerto Rico and Washington, D.C. A program locator is available on the organization’s website.