Nearly 75 STEM Students Participate in Camp Invention!


Thomas A. Edison once said, “To invent, you need a good imagination and a pile of junk.”  Well,  a young child is filled with lots of imagination and junk is all around us, right? So let’s get busy inventing!!

See these boxes?  Imagine the possibilities!

When we think of summer camps, we naturally think of sports camps or religious-based camps. Well, there’s a new camp in town. It’s called Camp Invention and it was packed with 75 students from Marvin Camras Children’s  Engineering School on Chicago’s northwest side.  It was a week long camp where students ripped apart simple machines, engaged in critical thinking, and participated in high energy games and activities. Our very own Angelica Tobias served as the camp director. She couldn’t brag enough about how excited and engaged the young campers were. Camp Invention was made possible thanks to a generous contribution from the CH2M HILL Foundation. The school was one of three selected to receive full funding for the camp.

Camp ran daily from 8:30-3:00 pm and was offered to first through sixth graders. The camp curriculum was broken into four modules: Illuminate, Inductive, Kartwheel and I can invent! Students rotated between various activities exploring squishy circuits,  studying inventors,  prototyping and designing video games. Participants participated in the patent process as they designed a super villain made of clay and a cardboard game board with LED lighting.

The campers were presented with challenges throughout the week. They could earn points to buy items for the big, final project! The week ended with teams building and racing freestyle go-karts. Campers also became inductees of the Inventor Hall of Fame and received their patent for their video game story prototypes.  Former students served as leadership interns for the camp.  Tobias described Camp Invention as a great experience stating,  “The curriculum is amazing and the support has been wonderful!”

Let’s tear this thing apart and see how it works! Students totally engaged in reverse engineering!
Inventors created protection gear and participated in a friendly game!
Apparently LOTS of duct tape was used during Camp Invention week!