by Cori Hilsgen
Does your child want to experience some hands-on learning this summer? If so, then Camp Invention might be a good option.
Camp Invention is a week-long science day program that is returning to the College of St. Benedict again this summer.
The camp is for students entering grades one through six. It’s part of an elementary-enrichment program that encourages children to discover their own creativity and inventiveness through hands-on science, technology, engineering and mathematics content.
The camp engages children’s brains to help prevent learning loss by providing some hands-on fun during months children are not usually attending school classes. During the camp, children use creative thinking to solve real-world problems.
Four curriculums are used in the various camp locations.
According to Susan Clarke, a regional consultant in charge of programming in Minnesota, more than 350 students have participated in the camp at CSB since 2006.
During the camp, children rotate through four classes each day. They work on various challenges, some individually and some in group settings.
Together, they brainstorm ideas, test and make group decisions, and evaluate and revise their ideas. This allows them to build teamwork skills and to use their imaginations.
The camp at CSB will be directed by Missy Tellinghuisen, taught by qualified local teachers and will have a one-to-eight staff-to-student ratio. High school and college students will help guide groups through the four daily classes.
This year’s camp program is GeoQuest. It features the “I can Invent:Launchitude” module, which allows participants to combine physics and pre-engineered household items to create a duck-chucking device.
Teams are challenged to launch international rubber ducks to their countries’ origins and then race to destroy competitors’ duck territory. Teams are able to put physics (trajectory and velocity) into practical use as they take apart broken appliances and re-engineer the gears and gadgets to invent the ultimate duck-chucking device.
Even if a child has participated in the camp in past years, he or she can benefit from new adventures at this year’s camp.
Students who are entering grades seven-nine can register as counselors-in-training to gain leadership experience.
The camp is a program of the national non-profit “Invent Now” and was created in partnership with the National Inventors Hall of Fame and the United States Patent and Trademark Office. The program includes more than 1,200 school partnerships in 49 states.
Clarke said more than 83,000 elementary students participated in Invent Now programs nationwide in 2012.
Camp Invention at CSB is scheduled for July 8–12. A substantial discount is offered to those who register before May 30. To register, call 1-800-968-4332 or visit www.campinvention.org for more information.
Hilsgen is a contributing reporter for the Newsleaders. The central Minnesota native is a wife, mother and grandmother. She has a Bachelor's degree in Organizational Management and Communication from Concordia University – St. Paul, MN and enjoys learning about and sharing other people's stories through the pages of the Newsleaders.