Camp Invention, a nationally recognized program of the National Inventors Hall of Fame®, has been a popular summer destination for young people across the country. This year, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Camp Invention Connect was created. A hybrid program offering both offline activities and optional online sessions, Camp Invention Connect enables hands-on exploration by delivering a set of four activity kits, packed full of fun material, directly to each participant. The national camp has been held at East Georgia State College for the past eight years. This year’s all-new, at-home edition was held the week of July 13-17.
Jean Schwabe, Fulford Community Learning Center Director, served as the lead coach for this years’ experience. Erin Youmans, MMGYSTC Coordinator, Macy Fagler, Swainsboro Primary first grade teacher, and Kim Hooks, MMGYSTC STEM Teacher served as coaches for the three groups of campers. Nordson Corporation very generously provided fifty-seven scholarships for the camp and has served as a corporate sponsor each year.
Camp Invention challenges students to find their “inner inventor” by learning the process of innovation and promoting STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) learning. In addition, the camp builds confidence, leadership, perseverance, and problem-solving skills. In these unprecedented times, these lessons are even more valuable.
This year’s curriculum, ELEVATE, featured video challenges from Inventors Hall of Fame inductees encouraging students to be confident in their ideas and explore their ability to innovate. The hands-on modules included:
• Camp Invention Flight Lab™: Imaginations soared as the campers learned about flight with gliders, rockets, heliballs and hand-copters. They built a cityscape from upcycled materials, navigated planes through a storm and took apart a flight simulation robot.
• Design Thinking Project™: Campers learned the value of their creativity as they brought their biggest ideas to life. To become successful innovators, they created sketches, built prototypes, designed logos and learned how to pitch their invention while protecting their intellectual property.
• Rescue Squad™: Using teamwork and problem-solving skills, students protected the Earth's ecosystems. Inspiring activities included creating pods to compete in zipline races, exploring energy conservation, eliminating pollution and helping wildlife in habitats across the country.
• Camp Invention Champions™: As students discovered the unseen inventors behind their favorite sports, they applied their own ingenuity. They traded inventor playing cards, created and played their own high-energy hover-ball games, and designed and built the ultimate sports complex.
Each year, Camp Invention serves 130,000 and partners with more than 1,800 schools and districts across the nations. East Georgia State College is proud to have hosted this outstanding STEM experience for students in our area since 2012.