Camp Invention challenges kids’ creativity, innovation, and problem-solving skills

NEW MARKET, Ala. -- For many kids, summertime means sleeping in, days at the pool, and most importantly, no school. But for dozens of Madison County and Huntsville City elementary school students, they're spending their summer days developing their science, technology, engineering and math skills at Camp Invention.

Camp Invention is a one-week, national summer program that challenges kids' creativity, innovation, and problem-solving skills. This year it's hosted by Moores Mill Intermediate School.

"We focus on STEM activities and we pull in authentic learning with creativity so that children take these skills and apply them to real-life events," said Camp Invention Director Amy O'Dell.

The priority is to inspire future innovators to dream and create, and this year's crop of kids has one particular fascination-- robots!

Taking the robots apart and putting them together teaches the kids about electronics, and programming the robots to have a specific outcome.

The kids also get to work with these "optobots," which have sensors that will follow a thick black line wherever it's drawn.

"Because these children really do not know each other, they work well in groups, they problem solve together and they become more confident as they work with other people," O'Dell said.

And when asked why learning these skills early on is important, second and third graders Barrett and Mac responded with, "Well you might want to be an inventor when you grow up, so you might want to use this to invent other stuff," and, "So we can get ahead in life and learn how t build stuff."

Whatever your reason is, Camp Invention is growing each year and taps into each child's inner need to discover.

Camp Invention does cost money for children to participate and the organizers are always looking for sponsorships and volunteers to help make this program possible for as many children as possible.

If you want to help, you can contact the program's director at: aodell@mcssk12.org