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Camp Invention ‘illuminates’ imagination

On Scientist Day at Camp Invention, campers Catrina, Karli and Vishal show their design for an 'invisible suit.' (CONTRIBUTED)
On Scientist Day at Camp Invention, campers Catrina, Karli and Vishal show their design for an ‘invisible suit.’ (CONTRIBUTED)

MADISON – A formula of science, imagination and fun produced a chain reaction of learning during Camp Invention at West Madison Elementary School.

The 2015 theme was “Illuminate.” The annual summer camp appeals to future scientists and reinforces school-year class work in the STEM discipline (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math).

Wendy Tibbs directed the annual summer enrichment camp with numerous local teachers handling instruction times with the campers on June 8-12. These teachers work on elementary, secondary and even college campuses in the area.

“These campers came from Madison City, Huntsville City and Madison County Schools,” Madison City Schools Public Relations Manager John Peck said.

Open to first- through sixth-graders, the camp had 96 students enroll this year, compared to 80 campers in 2013 and 60 children in 2012.

For “Scientist Day,” campers dressed up as their favorite scientist. Several Albert Einsteins, Thomas Edisons and Wright Brothers walked the West Madison halls. The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office and National Inventors Hall of Fame sanctions the scientist tribute, like other exercises at the camp.

In one task, the youngsters were given an ordinary, household item and were instructed to create ways to solve a problem, Peck said. Another activity required them to prototype their own video game story.

Camp Invention participants disassembled/reassembled electronic components and other devices to learn about the connections and structure relationships.

At previous camps, the students engaged in the “Amazing Atlas” class. They traveled to five extreme natural wonders by navigating a world map using cardinal directions and lines of latitude/longitude.

For “Cave of Crystals,” students devised an imaginary animal adapted to extreme salty conditions. In the “Ecoverse” (ecology plus universe) class, campers studied navigation by stars and built a stellar navigator.

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