Friday, August 14, 2020
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Camp Invention inspires STEM in Indiana

A summer camp for young inventors has been running in Crown Point, Ind., for several years, stimulating students to explore science, technology, engineering, and mathematics with astounding creativity, the Times of Northwest Indiana reports.

The Inventor’s Museum in Alexandria, Va., run by the US Patent & Trademark Office. The office helped to develop this year’s theme, “Illuminate,” along with educators and inductees of the National Inventors Hall of Fame. (Voxitatis)

The camp brought about 100 first through sixth graders together for a week in June at Lake Street Elementary School. Done right, the camp can inspire students to consider further study in STEM disciplines.

One student said he was inspired to look into careers using technology to create characters for cartoons and movies. “We are making a 3D model of a video game called MazeWorld,” the paper quoted him as saying. “We can make our own story and make a maze out of the recycled electronics that we brought from home. I think it is really cool.”

Activities kids can do while they’re at the camp include:

  • Concentrate on reverse engineering games
  • Collaborate to catch balls in a bucket, launched by a sling shot
  • Balance a balloon on a frisbee while navigating an obstacle course

The nationally recognized summer program focuses on creativity, innovation, real-world problem solving, and the spirit of invention. “Our top priority is to provide quality programming in the fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics,” the paper quoted Kelly Anthony, the program’s director in Crown Point, who has been involved for five years.

“Our program presents essential STEM concepts through the most creative hands-on activities,” she said. “We strive to enhance each child’s ability to learn through teamwork and subject immersion while providing exciting challenges and cultivating a new appreciation for discovery.”

All the modules in Camp Invention are designed to be fun, but Ms Anthony said this year, their favorites were the “Invent: Next Level Gamers” module, in which they take apart a machine and create a maze, and “KartWheel,” where they manage their money to build a movable cart to race.

Paul Katula is the executive editor of the Voxitatis Research Foundation, which publishes this blog. For more information, see the About page.

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