More than 100 children from the Levittown School District discovered the wonders of the world at Camp Invention, a two-week summer science program that promoted learning through hands-on inquiry.
The camp, which ran from July 15-26 at Wisdom Lane Middle School, was open to students entering third, fourth and fifth grades. Program coordinator Siobhan Schneider said that the activities were designed to help children develop their critical thinking and problem-solving skills, work as a team and think strategically.
In Deep Sea Mystery, each group had to create a seaworthy vessel using only supplied materials. At the end, the boats were placed into a pool of water and weight was added to see how long they could stay afloat. Students also participated in a fossil dig and navigation-based activities.
Children became inventors in the Innovation Force workshop. Each group had to make a device that could grab objects from a distance. They learned about the invention process from coming up with an idea, to building a prototype, to securing a patent. DYI Orbot was a robotics-based course with different challenges. Students designed bridges and tunnels to have their robots pass over and under and built towers to knock over. A favorite activity was when students attached markers to their robots and moved them over a piece of paper to create art.
Farm Tech allowed students to create a high-tech farm with machines that prepared soil, pollinated crops and launch bales of hay. Children accomplished these missions using programmable robots. The outdoor Camp Invention Games station featured activities that had scientific themes, such as animals, space and the weather. There were plenty of water games to keep cool, like Kangaroo in which children had to hop across the field with a bucket of water balloons and keep them from falling out.
The stations were led by Levittown teachers, with support from high school counselors. The program totaled 35 hours of fun and education during the 10 days.
Fifth grader Paul Siegel, from Gardiners Avenue School, attended Camp Invention for the first time and said it was a worthwhile experience.
“It’s very exciting and I’m glad all of my friends are here,” he said. “I like making stuff and playing games. Everything that we do is so creative, and I love it.”
Photos courtesy of the Levittown School District