Camp fosters invention

CNJ staff photo: Liliana Castillo Jack Green, 10, left, 9-year-old Spencer Biagini, center, and 9-year-old Abby Barela work together using objects in two shapes to build a structure. The class learned how different types of molecules combine to create matter.

Liliana Castillo

Camp Invention returned to Clovis for the third year this summer.

The week-long summer enrichment program focuses on hands-on activities, teamwork and scientific experimentation.

Camp director Natasha Neuberger said this year the camp had 75 children from grades one through six.

The camp is split into five modules, four of which take place in the classroom.

The Curious Cypher Club

Teacher: Janella Hill

The group receives coded messages from a mysterious sender and children work in groups to decode them using historical and mathematical codes. The students also use engineering, math and logical thinking to build a clubhouse. Younger children decoded messages and older children write their own coded messages back. Hill said students learn collaboration, creativity, critical thinking, problem solving in this class.

WILD: Wondrous Innovations and Living Designs

Teacher: Melissa Parkin

Students learn about animals and how researchers and scientists study them and create new innovations based on them. Projects included learning the properties of color, exploring infrared light and extracting iron from cereal. Parkin said student learn to explore and to learn from nature.

The I can Invent: Edison’s Workshop

Teacher: Danielle Ward

Students learn the process that inventors face while creating new inventions. The children work in teams to take parts of broken appliances to create simple machines. Older children create multi-step inventions and younger children created a multi-step, ball-rolling machines. Ward said children learn about inventors, reverse engineering, creativity and critical thinking skills.

Bounce! An Atomic Journey

Teacher: Doug Schwartz

Students investigate the science of atoms and molecules by experimenting with bouncy balls. The class covers chemistry, physical science and physics. Students learn about nanotechnology and static electricity and polymers. Schwartz said students learned how atoms are the building blocks of matter. The group’s culminating activity was to make their own bouncy balls out of polymer. Schwartz said the group also learned about the history of bouncy balls.