Creativity flows at USD 232 Camp Invention
Second year of science-focused camp doubles enrollment
From a mysterious scientist to medieval games, first- through sixth-graders last week enjoyed hands-on science, math, art and history activities at De Soto USD 232’s Camp Invention.
The weeklong day camp, in its second year in the district, is designed to allow students to unleash their creative genius through individual and team-building activities.
This year, 83 campers took part in a variety of activities each day.
Hayden Knight, who will be a third-grader at Mize Elementary, attended the camp for a second year.
“It’s really fun and you get to learn about new stuff,” he said. “In school they don’t make it as fun; the people that work here are making it fun to learn.”
Hayden’s favorite activity for the week was Hatched, a module that combines online virtual worlds to relay economic solutions to problems. Students work in teams to create thriving worlds.
“You make avatar people and cars and stores,” he said. “We used supplies from the recycling rooms to make our cities.”
Kate Miller, who will enter fifth grade at Prairie Ridge Elementary, also attended the camp for her second year.
“It was a lot of fun, and I like science, so I wanted to come back,” she said.
Kate said one reason she liked the camp was that she could review concepts she learned at school the previous year.
“You don’t build as much in school and you don’t go into the halls and stuff,” she said. “Camp is hands-on; it makes it more interesting.”
Other activities included:
• Power’d, where students explore new types of energy and learn about wind, solar and hydro energy by creating creatures using battery circuits.
• SMArt: Science, Math & Art, in which students use imagination, creative problem-solving and math to create patterns.
• I Can Invent III, where students built machines from recycled materials and broken appliances.
• Global Games, in which students study sports such as lacrosse, soccer and dice.
Kathy McBride, camp coordinator for the district, said this year’s camp was more student led.
“When kids are engaged and involved, the amount of things retained are more validated,” she said.
McBride said the camp received a strong turnout from primary grades.
“It’s exciting to see them (students) excited in math and science,” she said. “I hope they learn they truly are the makers of their own destiny, that if they have great ideas they can make them.”