Camp Invention teaches life skills, problem-solving
by CELIA SHORTT
This summer a group of upcoming first through sixth grade Coweta County students participated in a week of learning like no other through Camp Invention, a program of Invent Now.
Camp Invention works to instill vital 21st century life skills like problem-solving and teamwork through hands-on fun. Kids who participate in Camp Invention also receive hands-on learning through daily modules, based on science, created to foster teamwork and imagination. In each of its activities, Camp Invention, teaches children subjects - like geology, invention, and velocity - and at the same time helps children think creatively and critically about solving problems.
The activities at this edition of Camp Invention featured modules in which students had to solve interesting problems:
• They needed to get home after their spaceship crash landed on the Planet ZAK.
• They had to clean up Sludge City, a town that totally destroyed its environment with pollution.
• They needed to help a flock of international rubber ducks get home.
• They were tasked with building prototypes of roller coasters and other fun amusement park rides.
Students had to find a solution to each one of these issues with their other teammates and could only use their imaginations and the recyclable and reusable materials that were provided. Assistant Director Stephanie Whitehead enjoyed seeing the creativity of all the students and providing an environment in which they can grow.
“The kids have been doing fantastic,” she said. “I’m so proud of them.”
Every day, each module had a different task that built on the ones before. On Monday in the “I Can Invent: Launchitude” module, the kids received their week’s mission - they needed to help a flock of international rubber ducks get home. That day, they began to disassemble donated appliances to locate gadgets and gears that could be used in making their duck launching inventions. Throughout the rest of the week, they continued working on their launching devices, including naming it, drawing it, writing a patent for it, and testing it. At the end of the week, they launched the ducks back home.
In another module, “Imagination Point: Ride Physics,” kids learned about Sir Isaac Newton’s Three Laws of Motion by creating amusement park ride prototypes. In the “Saving Sludge City” module, kids cleaned up the town, solved various pollution problems and then created a new eco-friendly design for the city.
In the first day of “Problem Solving on Planet ZAK,” the kids realized they had crash landed and had five days to find their way home. Each day, they worked on building shelter, figuring out how to find food, and how to launch their spaceships home. At the end of the week, they successfully launched the spaceships home and discussed the high and low points of their stay on Planet ZAK.
The last day of Camp Invention included a program that showcased all the week’s activities and learning for the children’s parents.