- Associated Press - Saturday, July 26, 2014

TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (AP) - Sylvia Ann Adamson longed for privacy, so she invented a solution to that problem at “Camp Invention.”

Using a recycled box, packing paper, foam, duct tape and other materials items, 6-year-old Sylvia created her very own “alone-time house” in response to a camp assignment that asked her to create something that will help solve one of her problems.

She chose to make this project because “I wanted some alone time,” the Vigo County girl said without hesitation.

The house was complete with windows and doors - including a back door. Speaking on Friday inside the Bayh College of Education at Indiana State University, she said the “decorations” were the best part of her project.

Camp Invention, which has come to Terre Haute for the past 12 years, was hosted on the Indiana State University campus during the last two weeks. The national educational summer program focused on creativity, real-world problem solving and invention. The curriculum was developed by the National Inventors Hall of Fame.

There were two weeklong day camps, Camp Morphed and Camp Envision II, with hands-on activities designed to engage campers in science, technology, engineering and mathematics in a creative atmosphere.

At Camp Invention, the kids are given a voice and are “part of the adventure,” said Tim Moss, who has been directing the camp for 10 years.

“It’s a hands-on, minds-on camp,” Moss told the Tribune-Star (https://bit.ly/1o2yVV6 ). “They’re (the students) thinking and involved in the entire process.”

On Friday - Camp Invention’s last day - 50 participants from grades one through six showcased their projects to their family and friends. Moss said the participants came from diverse backgrounds. While most of them are from Vigo County schools, some also came from out of state. Moss credited Duke Energy’s support, which he said allowed many kids to attend the camp. The base price of Camp Invention is about $220 per week.

Also during the showcase on Friday, the campers, who were divided into three groups, also sang cheer songs.

“We will, we will invent!” sang the group made up of the youngest participants, to the tune of Queen’s “We Will Rock You.” Then, a slideshow showed the kids taking apart various electronics, working with recycled materials, visiting the recycling facility and working in groups on indoor and outdoor projects.

In the last two weeks, the students engaged in building morphing vehicles, taking apart electronics to build new inventions, tinkering with circuits and designing solutions to nature-based challenges.

Sylvia said the best part about camp was when they were studying “Magnetropolis” module, in which participants learned the power of combining magnetism and electricity.

Another camper, 8-year-old Christine Liu, on Friday explained the model of a city that her group made for the “Magnetropolis.” The group used a box to illustrate the city streets. On the streets, the students created a train made of empty yogurt containers, water bottle caps and washers. The train moved when a ruler with magnet was placed and moved under the box.

The city was complete with skyscrapers made of empty bottles and a school, which they marked “Dixie Bee” to represent Christine’ elementary school.

When asked about what she learned, Christine said, “That it takes a lot of work.”

“I also learned about magnets,” she quickly added.

Her mom, Shirley Xiao, said the experience was rewarding. She was pleased that the camp fostered creativity and hands-on learning while encouraging kids to share with each other.

“They used whatever they have,” Xiao said. “There’s nothing that can prevent their imagination.”


Information from: Tribune-Star, https://www.tribstar.com



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