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July 24, 2013

Camp Invention: 90 students participate in weeklong Geo-quest program

RICHMOND — If one was to walk into the halls of Model Laboratory School on Monday during the Camp Invention Geo-quest program, they would have found plastic eggs placed randomly on the floor. Each egg containing a clue to finding a “treasure-filled” cache.

Down the hall, students were disassembling broken appliances to examine their design and discover how each worked. Campers would use what they learned to create a “Duck Chuck” device designed to launch rubber ducks.

In another room, students were rummaging through random items to find insulators to protect their expedition instruments from the hot African Sahara, which teacher Margaret Hite simulated with a blow dryer.

Across the hall, students were exploring celestial patterns through constellations that were projected on the walls and ceiling using a “spinning stellar navigation tool” each group created themselves.

This is the fifth year Model has hosted the Camp Invention program. This year’s camp had 90 participants representing 18 schools, seven counties and two countries.

A group of students from S.K.H. Yuen Chen Maun Chen Jubilee Primary School and St. Bonaventure Catholic Primary School in Hong Kong were visiting Richmond for a cultural experience and participated in the camp as well.

Children rotated through a schedule that included four modules each day: Ecoverse, Cache Dash, I Can Invent: Launchitude and Amazing Atlas Games.

Each module includes hands-on activities with curricula that focuses on the development of creative and inventive thinking skills. Many of the projects focus on the process and learning through trial and error.

Although emphasis is not placed on inventing a working device in the weeklong camp, some children have left the program with a working invention, such as insect catchers, ball-throwing robots, arm extenders made out of PVC pipes and other innovations, according to information provided by camp director and Model teacher Sarah Shaffer.

For details about the camp, visit www.campinvention.org.

Crystal Wylie can be reached at cwylie@richmondregister.com or 623-1669, Ext. 6696.

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