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Summer STEM camp engages Dayton children

July 3, 2018 GMT

Camp Invention, a nonprofit summer enrichment camp program, partnered with Dayton ISD last week to make innovation relatable, accessible, and fun for 103 local children.

A program of the National Inventors Hall of Fame (NIHF), in partnership with the United States Patent and Trademark Office, Camp Invention challenges children in Grades K-6 to find their ‘inner inventor’ by learning the process of innovation. Using hands-on activities, Camp Invention promotes science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) learning; builds resourcefulness and problem-solving skills; and encourages entrepreneurship — in a fun and engaging environment.

Each year, the program features a new curriculum inspired by some of our nation’s most brilliant inventors — the NIHF Inductees. This year’s Fast Forward curriculum features several video challenges from these Inductees encouraging children to be confident in their ideas and explore their innovativeness. These hands-on activities where campers launch into the future with their own Optibot—a small self-driving robot that senses changes in light.

In the Robotic Pet Vet activity, throughout this module, campers nurse their robotic puppy back to health and design and build dog parks as they hammer out ideas for the best park attraction.

Another activity called “Mod My Mini Mansion,” invites campers to dream up and design their very own futuristic smart home filled with gadgets, LEDs, technology and innovations.

In “Stick To It,” campers invent something new every day as they explore what it is like to be a physicist, engineer and entrepreneur. Young innovators will invent, make and craft solutions to real-world challenges by building their own prototypes and discovering that anything is possible.

At the end of the program, campers proudly displayed their creations for friends and family at an “Inventor’s Showcase,” and brought home two personalized robots, a smart home prototype with real working lights, and great memories.

Camp Invention serves more than 140,000 students every year and partners with nearly 1,700 schools and districts across the United States. All local Camp Invention programs are facilitated and taught by certified educators who reside and teach in the community, and Dayton is no exception. This program, directed by Lauren Heimburger, was taught by five DISD educators: Nikki Lovell from Dr. E. R. Richter Elementary, Helen Carpenter from Kimmie M. Brown Elementary, and Heather Clary, Kasey Mobley, and Alicia Wood from Stephen F. Austin Elementary.