Camp Invention program planned for summer

David Broyles

April 18, 2014

The Mount Airy Board of Education received news Tuesday the system will offer “Camp Invention” to students from throughout the area this summer.

Jones Intermediate Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics (STEAM) Coach Patty Burgess gave the board a brief overview of the program which will be held at Mount Airy Middle School June 23-27 from 9 a.m. until 3:30 p.m. The program will be provided at cost, through a $205 per student fee. Burgess said it is being held for rising first through sixth graders. She said discussion is also under way to provide scholarships for the summer school although no formal decisions have been made.

“We are inventing the future at Camp Invention one child at a time,” said Burgess. “The slogan for the camp is it is where the next big idea becomes the next big thing.” She stressed the idea is for students participating in the school to realize “they are capable of anything at Camp Invention.”

Burgess explained the camp will involve creative problem solving. Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) is the only nationally recognized, non-profit elementary enrichment program backed by the National Inventors Hall of Fame. She told the board 30 students have already registered for the program.

According to the camp’s web site, the activities are designed to encourage creativity, innovation, problem solving, communication and collaboration. The group provides the curricula, step-by-step instructions, registration and promotional support, instructor training, staff compensation and program materials.

MAMS will provide lunches, at no additional charge, for the five-day camp as well as five classrooms, a cafeteria or gymnasium. Burgess explained the projects will come from the “Morphed” curriculum this year. This includes activities where students get into groups as a research team to “unlock clues to nature’s blueprints” to develop “bionic” senses including sending information down zip lines to a brain in a challenge to decode a “mega sensory mix-up.”

Another activity will be students taking apart electronics and building an insect-themed pinball machine as they “upcycle” and build a do-it-yourself cardboard launcher as well as insect leg pinball flippers to win the “Pinbug Jackpot.” Students will also tinker with circuits and design solutions through nature-based challenges where they work together as entrepreneurs to bring their creation to market.

Other activities will include building vehicles which operate on land, air and water where children apply their discoveries to motor-powered vehicles which compete in a road rally. The camp will also include team-building and problem solving activities. Persons may register for the camp at camp or call 800-968-4332 for more information.

In other action at the board meeting, Mount Airy High student Sydney Peavy was honored for receiving the Congressional Award for Young Americans.

Kelly Johnson and Emily Goins were honored for receiving a Burroughs Wellcome Fund grant which promotes innovation in science and mathematics. Tharrington Parent Teacher Organization members Reagan Tidd, Sabrina Moore, Dawn Wilson, Kancie Norman, Mandi Leftwich and Kelly Johnson as well as Principal Lydia Lovell were honored for their efforts supporting the school including the recent spring fling held to make playground improvements.

Jones Intermediate School fourth graders Xavier Whitt and Olivia Phillips were recognized for their graphic and slogan being accepted by the Mount Airy city council for a new recycling campaign. The city chose Whitt’s drawing and Phillip’s slogan. Teacher Aaron Gibbons was also recognized.

MAHS students Annamaria Kriska and Mary hatcher were also honored for being accepted to Governor’s School and artistic recognition was given Jones fourth grader Taylor O’Brien and Mount Airy Middle School sixth graders Zachary Starn and Daniel Troutman were also recognized.

Superintendent Dr. Gregory Little told the board the May 6 work session will be held at Mount Airy Middle School at 6 p.m. The May 20 will be the business session and will be at Jones School beginning at 6:30 p.m.

David Broyles may be reached at 336-719-1952 or on twitter@MtAirynewswDave.