Children enjoy Jamestown science campA weeklong national science enrichment program for children has returned to Jamestown this week in the form of Camp Invention. The program, which is designed for children entering grades one through six, began its third year here on Monday at Jamestown High School. The camp concludes on Friday.
By: Brian Willhide, The Jamestown Sun
A weeklong national science enrichment program for children has returned to Jamestown this week in the form of Camp Invention.
The program, which is designed for children entering grades one through six, began its third year here on Monday at Jamestown High School. The camp concludes on Friday.
“We have 62 children taking part this year and it’s really impressive already to see their enthusiasm and ability to work with some of these projects,” said Andrea Anteau, camp coordinator and high school science teacher at Kensal Public School.
First started in 1990 with just 300 kids, Camp Invention’s focus is to get students to be creative and inventive through hands-on applications of science, technology, engineering and mathematics, known as STEM.
“There has been a big push in education with STEM recently so this is something that gives these kids a great opportunity to develop skills that are necessary to fill a gap in our education system and careers,” Anteau said.
The nationwide program now reaches more than 75,000 kids each year, according to Anteau, whose children have attended the camp previously as well.
Each day, the children rotate through stations to solve real-world challenges and learn relevant life skills.
“We teach so much from a textbook and for testing purposes during the course of each school year. With something like this, they’re learning to work as a team and do things that are totally applicable to what they will do in the real world one day,” Anteau said.
During this year’s camp, the children are visiting a faux island to study magnetism, experience the “Ci6000 Space Modulator Time Machine” and invent a balloon-bursting machine as one of the biggest projects.
When asked what he liked most about taking part in the camp, Lincoln Elementary School second-grader Colton Mewes said, “Playing the games and taking stuff apart.”
Mewes, 8, said Wednesday that he’s always enjoyed the kind of activities he’s doing as part of the camp and said he’s learned a lot and had a great deal of fun.
To help Anteau with the camp, three local elementary school teachers are serving as instructors during the classroom activities. Three counselors from the high school and college level are assisting in the camp as well.
“It’s fun and I love being able to work with these kids,” said Kristina Bredahl, a Camp Invention counselor. “The kids really like it a lot. You can tell they’re getting a lot out of it by being able to invent and build and take things apart.”
Anteau said the greatest benefit for the children has been watching their curiosity throughout the week’s activities.
“With a camp like this, we give them the chance to examine different ideas and inventions, experience them and just be curious,” she said. “After all, that’s what kids are good at.”
For more information about Camp Invention, visit www.campinvention.org.
Sun reporter Brian Willhide can be reached at 701-952-8454 or by email at email@example.com