The world is always changing and with that comes inventions that help make our everyday lives easier. Of course, to have those new innovations and technologies, someone has to have the foresight to come up with it. That type of creativity must come at an early age where simple ideas can turn out to be the next big thing.
Camp Invention is a program that helps get this creativity out of young students and has been a staple during the summers at Kasson-Mantorville.
“This is how they control their creativity,” Camp Invention organizer Danielle Bell explained. “It may look like just a plain paper box or whatever they may be working with, but to them it’s the future.”
Each year Camp Invention has a different theme to change things up. While 2017’s theme was known as “Launch” where the kids built rockets to shoot up into the sky, this year’s theme was “Fast Forward” where kids had their opportunities to create items and technologies that help make everyday life simpler.
“I’ve taught this for 10 years,” Bell said. “I’ve never taught the same thing.”
Throughout the day, the kids at Camp Invention go through several different programs and start off at “Base Camp” where they warm up by solving puzzles and other brain teasers to help get them going.
Among the programs at Camp Invention, the kids did everything from building their own robotic pet and solving their viruses with antibiotics to building their own mansions while putting a spin on current technologies like Google Home and Alexa.
Another module was the creation of optibots that use the same technology that the deep-ocean research submersible Alvin used to find the RMS Titanic in 1986. Using sensors on the bottom of their small matchbox-car sized vessels, the optibots followed a course set by their young inventors to navigate a deep sea landscape.
Even when the kids have lunch, they’re still learning as Camp Invention also puts a spin on classic recess games to keep their minds going.
“Sometimes I get tired watching them,” Bell said. “I’m not even the one doing the creating. They come up with some great things.”
Camp Invention runs in over 1,300 schools and districts nationwide and with the ever changing curriculum, the innovation for these young minds will continue to grow.