When their imaginary spacecraft crashes on Planet Zak, local students are put in a position of self-preservation and are faced with saving a polluted city in the process. During Camp Invention, held June 29 – July 2 at Summerside Elementary School, 42 students from grades one – six took part in the creative program.
“The students were taught ways to save a city from pollution,” said director Sarah Bose. “Each group had to construct a city completely from recyclable materials.”
Campers had to build forts for protection while on the planet and many rebuilt their spaceships for the return trip to earth.
One of the problems facing students during the four day program was finding a way to traverse a sea of pollution. They were given a variety of recyclable materials and had to find a creative way to overcome some difficult obstacles.
The nationwide program explores the fields of science, technology, engineering and math. The children are faced with challenges and given the opportunity to let their imaginations run wild in coming up with solutions.
Camp Invention is held throughout the nation during summer break and encourages students to find science everywhere. The children use ingenuity, trial and error and a lot of tape, aluminum foil and cardboard to build and create the necessary items for success.
The summer enrichment program was attended by more than 66,000 children at 1,056 sites throughout 48 states in 2008.
Bose noted that the program didn't get much publicity this year to draw more children. It is expected to reach capacity next year with 100 students participating.
"The program will be about the same, but the kids will be doing different activities than this year," said Bose. "There is a fee to register, but several scholarships were available this year. The program is set up for five days, but due to the holiday, we made our days a little longer. This was harder for the children because it made for a long day. Next year, we will do the program in five days."
During the program, the children moved to different classrooms for special activities and spent some time with outside activities. West Clermont teachers offered their services as instructors for the program and modified the daily activities according to age groups. At the close of the program, parents were invited to see the projects created by the children.