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STEM camp returns to Edison Middle School

Cary Ashby • Jun 4, 2019 at 5:00 PM

BERLIN HEIGHTS — Camp Invention is returning to Edison Middle School the week of June 10.

The program of the National Inventors Hall of Fame (NIHF), in partnership with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, is a nationally recognized, non-profit summer enrichment camp. All local Camp Invention programs are facilitated and taught by certified educators who live and teach in the community.

“(It) provides a unique experience for children to learn about the importance of intellectual property while exploring, creating and designing. Using hands-on activities, Camp Invention promotes science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) learning (and) builds confidence, leadership, perseverance, resourcefulness and problem-solving skills and encourages entrepreneurship — in a fun and engaging environment,” said Ken Torisky, senior public relations coordinator for NIHF. 

About 80 students from nearly 15 area home, private and public schools attended the week-long camp last year at Edison Middle School. Willard City Schools also hosted a Camp Invention during the summer of 2018. It was sponsored by MTD, which allowed students to attend at a reduced cost.

Landon Bennett, who has attended the camp for four years at Edison, said last year the experience allows him to do “fun and exciting stuff.” 

“Each year, the program features a new curriculum inspired by some of our nation’s greatest inventors — the NIHF inductees. For 2019, the Supercharged curriculum features video challenges from these inductees encouraging children to be confident in their ideas and explore their ability to innovate,” Torisky said.

The hands-on modules include:

• Innovation Force: Campers team up with the Innovation Force (NIHF inductees who have been transformed into superheroes) to battle a super villain who is out to steal the world’s greatest ideas. As children create a device to retrieve the stolen ideas, they will learn about the importance of intellectual property and the U.S. patent system.

• Deep sea mystery: The children, “stranded” on an island during a research adventure at sea to dig up fossils, will invent island-survival tools and underwater equipment. 

• Farm tech: Campers are put in charge of managing their own “farm” as they learn the basics of running a business. With the assistance of a robot, they will learn fundamental coding techniques to maximize their time and profits. Campers also will be introduced to DNA syntheses, where they perform their own mock experiments to check the health of their newly purchased “cattle.”

• DIY Orbot: While exploring frequency, circuit boards, motors and gears, the campers will use tools to reverse-engineer a remote-control robot. Throughout the week, campers will adapt their “DIY Orbot” to perform increasingly challenging tasks.

And at the end of the program, each camper will bring home a robot. 

“Camp Invention serves more than 130,000 students every year and partners with 1,800 schools and districts across the United States,” Torisky said. “Through hands-on programming, Camp Invention encourages children entering kindergarten through sixth grade to explore science, technology, engineering and mathematics curriculum inspired by some of the world’s greatest inventors.”

To register for the Edison Middle School camp or for more information, visit https://www.invent.org/programs/camp-invention or call toll-free at 800-968-4332. 

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