Submitted By Jason Gordon
As a kid, if you had a tendency to break things just to see what was inside and then spent the rest of the day trying to put all the parts back together again, Camp Invention would have been the perfect place to spend a week during the summer.
Two of four Comal ISD Camp Inventions ran June 19-23 at Hoffmann Lane and Kinder Ranch elementary schools. More than 75 attendees from grades 1-8 spent time receiving challenges from the National Inventors Hall of Fame.
The third Camp Invention of the summer will take place at Timberwood Park Elementary July 10-14 and the final Camp Invention in Comal ISD will be held at Garden Ridge Elementary July 17-21.
As always, Camp Invention strives to empower the minds of young inventors.
Children are presented with fun, hands-on challenges that encourage creative problem solving, teamwork, entrepreneurship, and innovation. Experienced local educators lead Camp Invention and new curriculum is introduced each year, inspired by the members of the National Inventors Hall of Fame.
Each year, Camp Invention partners with more than 1,300 schools in all 50 states.
“We want these students to understand that all it takes is a little idea to create an invention,” said Camp Director and Comal ISD Instructional Technology Specialist Michelle Grell. “They are learning to observe and solve problems using the methods they learn here. Those kinds of skills can help them in the classroom and every day for the rest of their lives.”
Students took apart old computers, radios, compact disc players and VCRs to secure the parts needed to create their own inventions.
“I love to take things apart to see what’s inside,” said camper Brady Scarnato-Bennett. “It’s amazing to see what’s inside a computer or a radio. I had no idea how complicated a simple machine could be.”
This year’s theme was “Launch.” There were four main modules as part of the Launch program – Mission Space Makers, Have A Blast, Operation Keep Out and Duct Tape Billionaire.
During “Have A Blast,” campers engineered a variety of working tools, including “snowball throwers,” and a giant air cannon. Everyone built their own high-tech Bubble Blaster with flashing lights to take home.
In “Mission Space Makers,” students prepared a new world for habitation. They experienced the power of rocket science by building and launching rubber band rockets. Campers also set invented items that could exist on a different atmosphere, terrain and ecosystem. Finally, they set up a Space Lab to explore beyond our galaxy.
“Because of the fact I’ve been to this camp two straight years now, I’d like to be an inventor,” Scarnato-Bennett said. “And I already have a great idea for an awesome invention.”