Camp Invention at the Middle School, June 12-15, was all hands-on and ideas for 46 third through sixth graders. There were no screens or computers. Just a whole lot of brain power.
Which is precisely why rising fifth grader Jake enrolled in the popular one-week camp at the Middle School. "I like science and space, so this camp is my thing," Jake said, proudly adding, "I'm flat-out nerd."
Students in Camp Invention were grouped by grade. Some created their own exoplanets (a planet that orbits a star outside the solar system) and ecosystems. Others competed in "Duct Tape Billionaire," presenting their own creations (duct tape shoes, wireless headphones and jewelry) to their fellow students and investors, hoping to earn seed money for their efforts.
Charlotte, a rising fifth grader, who made crystal trees and hatched a dino plant said she would attend the camp again.
"I like learning about technology and how you can invent something and then innovate change," she said.
Techie CampTaha, a rising fifth grader, joined 39 other Shaker students in grades 3-5 enrolled in Techie Camp at Mercer, June 12-22. The camp enabled students to learn the concepts of computer programming and encouraged them to think about complex ideas and concepts using their own rationale and logic.The students used Scratch, a programming environment specifically developed for young students by MIT, to create their own games, interactive stories and arts.
Taha's Flying Cat game was built with a combination of sprites (a 2D computer graphic that can perform actions in a project or game) and his own drawings of clouds. Taha wrote the code for the game so that his flying cat could rise up or down and over buildings.
Sam, another incoming fifth grader, created Ultimate Ping Pong, which he describes as "ping pong balls in the universe." Colored circles and flashing rainbows fills the universe space on Robie's screen. Like Taha, Sam used a combination of his own graphics and pre-designed sprites.
A second session of Techie Camp for rising sixth through eighth graders begins July 10.