Camp Invention Aims To Inspire Future Inventors
Camp Invention is being held this week at Central Lakes College in Brainerd. The camp focuses on the S.T.E.M. fields and aims to inspire local students to become future inventors.
“Everyday, the kids get a chance to work in teams to build new inventions or to create prototypes that solve problems,” said Terri Ebinger, the director at Camp Invention in Brainerd. “The kids really get excited when they get to put their own touches on their inventions and create things that they think would solve those real-world problems that we are having in our world today.”
The camp is for students entering kindergarten through sixth grade and follows a curriculum inspired by the world’s greatest inventors.
“This year, it’s all about technology. We’re learning about Optibots, which are little sensor-driven robots, and the kids are learning about how sensors affect daily life and how in the future we might have things like driverless cars that are all run by sensor,” Lisa Laasch, a teacher at Camp Invention, explained.
The students rotate to five classes each day and participate in activities such as designing and building robotic dogs, controlling their own self-driving robots, and other fun, science-related games.
“My favorite part of the camp is where you get to bring your stuff in and you get to make, build inventions,” said Lily, who is attending the camp. “It’s really fun.
The camp, which was founded in 1990, has served more than 1.3 million children throughout the country, many of them going on to be Leadership Interns and teachers.
“I like going year from year, and I see the same kids and I watch them kind of grow up and learn new things,” said Chase Christian, a Camp Invention Leadership Intern.
“Just watching them do their stuff, like that was us last year or the year before that,” added Levi Jillson, a Camp Invention Leadership Intern in training.
While the camp aims to be a week of fun, it also has the goal of introducing young kids to the S.T.E.M. fields and the opportunities that may lie ahead for them.
“The biggest thing is that, that’s what our society is going to probably be needing in the future is jobs in those areas of science, technology, engineering, and math, and so this is preparing them for college and for those classes in high school that might be a little tougher, but for the real world,” explained Ebinger. “Those are the jobs that are going to be out there.”
“They build and they invent and they create and they take apart, and so there’s just, there’s so many aspects to it that are wonderful,” added Laasch. “I just, I would love that every child got to experience that.”
The camp has approximately 110 campers each summer. For more information on the camp, visit campinvention.org.