Unleashing creative genius: Camp Invention coming to Cairo

The Camp Invention program is coming to Cairo this summer!  It’s a week of daytime excitement, where children are immersed in imaginative play that both reinforces and supplements school-year learning through inquiry-based activities in science, technology, engineering, math (STEM), as well as history and the arts.
America is currently facing a critical talent gap in these areas, known as the international “language” of innovation.  The country’s economic and productive future depends on how well we educate our children and youth. The Camp Invention program helps cultivate the ideas critical to STEM by encouraging exploration and curiosity during everyday activities so children understand that science is everywhere – fostering “whole system” thinkers.
Southside School is hosting the Camp Invention CREATE program beginning on June 7th – 11th, from 8:30am – 3:00pm. Camp Invention Director Mandi Genter says students currently in kindergarten through 5th grade are eligible to enroll in the summer camp.
Teachers have been hired to instruct and supervise 40 campers according to the camp director, however, “we are prepared and have teachers on standby if we get 100 campers registered. The more campers the better!” says Genter.
“Camp Invention is a week-long adventure that fosters inventive-thinking skills, science literacy, history and the arts in five activity-oriented modules directed and taught by local teachers. In the Create program, campers will return home from an alien planet, green up and rebuild a polluted town, and build miniature amusement parks. Kids and parents will be amazed at the fantasy inventions that are created during the week,” she says.
Mrs. Michael Singletary, (Eastside); Mrs. Lisa Oliver, (Southside); and Mrs. Valerie Coley (Washington Middle School) have been hired to teach at the summer camp.
Those who register before March 31st receive $25 off the base price of $210. Parents can call Southside at (229) 377-3723 and speak to directly to Genter if they have questions. Registrations forms were distributed to students countywide. Additional forms are available at the office at Southside. Parents can learn more about the camp at: http://www.campinvention.org or call toll free 1-800-968-4332.
Specific questions about the camp can be emailed to the camp director  at: m.genter@grady.k12.ga.us
“I am very excited about directing the camp,” says Genter. “Even though I will not be teaching, I will do daily ‘base camp’ activities with all of the campers. There will be cool science trivia questions where students can earn prizes. This is an incredible opportunity for the students of Grady County. I am sure that this will be an experience that they will not forget.”
Ensuring fresh, timely curricula each year, the curriculum writers at Invent Now Kids have put together the CREATE program for first-time host sites, where children not only have to figure out a way to survive on a strange planet during the Problem Solving on Planet ZAK® module, but also rebuild a cleaner, more eco-friendly city in the Saving Sludge City™ module and create amusement park rides during the Imagination Point: Ride Physics™ module.  Every Camp Invention program features the I Can Invent III™ module, where younger children take apart discarded household appliances and create fantasy inventions, while older children use the pieces and parts to build Rube Goldberg machines.  Also featured is the Global Games™ module, where children explore ancient cultures and sports like lacrosse and soccer from civilizations around the world.
The premier program of the nonprofit Invent Now Kids, the nationally acclaimed Camp Invention experience has been inspiring the minds of children nationwide for over 20 years.  Renowned for the opportunity it extends to elementary-aged children to explore the unknown, tinker with ideas, and satisfy an innate sense of curiosity, this unique program provides a safe, creative outlet for them to experience extended summer learning taught by familiar local educators.
Each day of the program week, children rotate through five integrated modules that require creative thinking to solve real-world challenges.   Working together, children learn vital 21st century life skills such as problem solving and teamwork through hands-on activities disguised in fun.
Since its inception in 1990, the Camp Invention program has grown to include nearly 1,500 sites in 49 states.  In 2009, more than 65,000 children participated nationwide.  “We’re getting to the root of innovation by providing motivation to learn, create, and excel – particularly in the critical areas of math and science,” said Michael J. Oister, President of Invent Now Kids.
Genter, a Southside Elementary School kindergarten teacher and the county’s 2008-09 teacher of the year, says if all goes well at the inaugural camp she expects the program will continue and “hopefully expand.”
 “This is an enrichment camp— to expand students’ experiences— not a remediation or more of the same,” she explains.
Will this kind of program help students with the Georgia Performance Standards (GPS) and high stakes CRCT’s?  Genter says camp activities will help students with the GPS curriculum because the program focuses on “problem solving and higher order thinking skills, motivates students, opens interest in science and math, gives students opportunities to explore and apply knowledge.”

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