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National STEM camp offered for K-6 graders

By MELINDA WILLIAMS

melinda@southwesttimes.com

RADFORD — Students entering kindergarten through sixth grades have a chance this summer to find their “inner inventor” by attending a nationally recognized nonprofit STEM camp at Radford University.

“Camp Invention,” a program of the National Inventors Hall of Fame (NIHF), will be at RU’s College of Science and Technology for five days beginning June 24. Programs run 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. daily and offer participants high-energy, hands-on STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) activities.

According to Camp Invention materials, activities are inspired by some of the nation’s most world-changing inventors, who are also NIHF Inductees. This year’s program features video challenges from Inductees, “encouraging children to be confident in their ideas and explore their innovativeness.”

Activities at June’s camp, and their descriptions, include:

• Innovation Force: Campers team up with the Innovation Force (NIHF Inductees as superheroes) to battle the evil Plagiarizer, a super villain who is out to steal the world’s greatest ideas. As children create a device to retrieve the stolen ideas, they learn about the importance of intellectual property and the U.S. patent system.

• Deep Sea Mystery: The children embark on a research adventure at sea to dig up fossils. Using lessons and advice from NIHF Inductees, they invent island-survival tools and underwater equipment.

• Farm Tech: Campers are put in charge of managing their own farm as they learn the basics of running a business. With the assistance of the Bot-ANN-E robot, they learn fundamental coding techniques to maximize their time and profits. Children also are introduced to DNA syntheses, where they perform their own mock experiment to check the health of their newly purchased cattle.

• DIY Orbot: The children will explore frequency, circuit boards, motors and gears as they use real tools to reverse engineer a remote-control robot. Throughout the week, campers will adapt their DIY Orbot to perform increasingly challenging tasks.

Participants leave camp with their own robot.

Certified educators living and teaching in the community facilitate and teach camp programs.

Camp Invention serves 130,000 students every year and partners with more than 1,800 schools and districts across the nation. For additional information or to register visit invent.org/camp.

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