Broadalbin-Perth Elementary School hosts Camp Invention®

District’s youngest learners explore science, technology, engineering and mathematics through hands-on activities


a group of students prepare to do an experiment using cardboard boxes with holes in them and paper cups in the shape of a pyramid.
Students prepare for experiment using airflow to try and knock down paper cups.

During the week of Aug. 9-13, elementary students from Broadalbin-Perth have had the opportunity to participate in Camp Invention®, a week-long day camp for children entering grades K-6 that incorporates creative, hands-on problem solving activities with a focus on cultivating STEM skills. Camp Invention® is the creation of the National Inventors Hall of Fame (NIHF), featuring curriculum and activities based on lessons from some of the world’s greatest inventors, NIHF inductees.

“As soon as we heard about the curriculum offered through Camp Invention®, we knew it would be a perfect fit for our staff and students at B-P Elementary School,” said Terry LaFountain, B-P’s director of curriculum and instruction. “We were able to use a portion of the district’s federal stimulus money to fund the initiative, which meant that we were able to offer camp, as well as bus transportation, to our B-P families at no cost this year.”

a teacher speaks into a microphone and helps explain an experiment to her class

young students talk into gold microphones that they reversed engineer to understand how they work
Students test out wireless microphones that they reverse engineered to better understand how they work.

Curriculum for the week-long camp includes age-appropriate sessions that teach students about critical STEM concepts with hands-on experiments including “Open Mic” (students reverse engineer a wireless microphone); “Solar Bots” (students explore circuitry, engineering, and the science of sound to create their own solar-powered robotic cricket); “Road Rally” (using a vehicle design lab, students create a miniature car that can travel over land, air and water); and “Duck Chuck” (studying physics concepts like velocity and trajectory, students build and test a device to launch rubber ducks).

a young girl wearing a face mask shows a robotic cricket that she made.“The Camp Invention® curriculum is top notch,” LaFountain said. “The lessons are presented in a really fun and innovative way to keep students engaged and provide an outlet for students with curious minds. We’re hopeful that Camp Invention® will provide a creative spark for students who may be interested in pursuing an educational path that incorporates STEM initiatives.

Broadalbin-Perth offers many STEM-focused classes, as well as extracurricular activities and clubs for students of all ages, including Odyssey of the Mind, FIRST LEGO League, the FIRST Tech Challenge robotics program, KidWind, CyberPatriots, and Girls in STEM.

a young girl with glasses sings into a gold microphone four students gather around a paper cup as they participate in a science experiment together

two young boys use a flashlight to propel a solar bug that they created a young boy forces air out of a cardboard box to try and knock down paper cups a boy wearing glasses and a tank top holds green slime that he made

a teacher helps three young girls with a science experiment around a table a girl hits a cardboard box and tries to knock down paper cups using forced air

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