Camp Invention held at Coshocton Elementary School

| July 2, 2021

Alyssa was carefully choosing just what she needed to create an invention to grab a duck placed in a circle. She needed something long and something pretty to complete her idea. Alyssa was taking part in Camp Invention at Coshocton Elementary School. (Jen Jones)

The week of June 28th was a busy one at Coshocton Elementary School as 100 students in grades kindergarten through sixth spent their days having fun and learning how to invent items to serve a set purpose.

Barb Snyder, Camp Invention Director, said the camp is an all day camp that has five modules each day. “It’s a great opportunity for students to get a STEM education and to be creative.” STEM stands for science, technology, engineering and math. Each of these skills are used in their five modules every day.

Five instructors and several teenage assistants were at the camp every day. The students will invent a different project in each module. A large pile of recyclable items, such as egg cartons, cardboard boxes and many other items were available for the students to dig through and choose what they would need to invent items in the Duck Chuck module.

Beth Loomis was the instructor for the Duck Chuck module. “We are working to build devices to launch ducks. This morning, we talked about air pressure, angle and velocity. They will be building catapults to launch their ducks.” Monday’s project was to create a way to reach (rubber) ducks that were in the center of a large circle without touching the ducks. Cardboard tubes, Styrofoam and pipe cleaners were all items they used to create their invention.

The Solar Bot module was taught by Lana Lawson. “We are going to build solar powered grasshoppers and then the students will create an environment for their grasshoppers.” On Monday, students discussed solar energy, how the sun can power batteries and circuits.

Laura Skjold taught the Open Mic module. “Today, we talked about what might be inside a microphone and then students drew their ideas. The younger students watched me take apart a microphone, while the older ones took it apart themselves.” After the students drew their idea of how a microphone worked, they could share their ideas with the rest of the class.

Camp Invention Games was a chance for the students to get up, move around and then try to improve the rules of games they knew. Jillian Wesney was the instructor for this module. “The module provides team building exercises and is high energy.  We play classic games with a twist and let the kids come up with new rules to make the games more fun and more fair for all.”

Road Rally was taught by Donna Yoder. “The students will design a vehicle that will transform to be able to use it on land, then water or air, then land. The vehicles will be propeller and pulley operated. By the end of the week, their designs are pretty amazing and all different.”

Snyder said the cost of the camp is $235 per student, but thanks to the generosity of several local businesses, the actual cost to families was only $35. “Not as many students would be able to attend without the support of local businesses and we are so appreciative of them.” She said the Coshocton Foundation helps to facilitate the funding and she believes there is funding for the next two years already.

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