Camp Invention comes up with ideas

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Children in second through seventh grade are working on projects that can inspire interest in innovation.

Eric Heinz - El Defensor Chieftain: Using batteries and applying lessons on electric charge, students create their own designs of vehicles that can morph during Camp Invention June 25 at Zimmerly Elementary.

In its third year, camp director Janice Jaramillo, assistant principal at Socorro High School, said the camp is an applicable and interesting way to teach kids the importance of innovation.

“I’ve kept coming back because I’m a big believer in science and hands-on activities,” Jaramillo said. “As far as gender, they say most people think (science and math) is just boys, but we actually have a pretty equal number of boys and girls in our camp; we may even have more girls this year.”

This year’s camp is based off the theme of ‘morphed,’ objects, organisms and minerals that change or can be changed.

Five class rooms house different themes such as “energized” classroom for physical education with team-building exercises and the “I can invent Pinbug” for kids to build pinball machines using inspiration from bugs.

Children also learn about patenting and invention originality.

“They have to learn about the terminology of science, the tools they need to use,” Jaramillo said. “The whole class is from the brainstorming part to the finished product.”

As the implementation Common Core lingers as new standards of education, she said relying on trial and error, pushing students to think for themselves, this could really help ease students in to the new educational mold.

Some of the things children have made in the spirit of the morph theme include cars that can fly then change into something that swims.

Most of the councilors for the camp are high school students who have participated in scientific competitions.