With Summer 2016 in full swing, kids around Garden City are looking for more things to do. One of these activities was Camp Invention, a week-long day camp that was recently held at Stewart School. The program involved several stations in which different groups of students worked on various projects. The stations were CrickoBot, Epic Park, The Lab and The Makers Studio.
In CrickoBot, kids created cricket- and spider-like bots that moved using a vibrating motor and counter balance. Whenever a light was shone on the CrickoBots, they would move faster than when a light wasn’t applied. CrickoBot merges STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics) concepts and real-world challenges as the campers explored biology and used their own ideas to create new insect-inspired innovations.
In the next station, Epic Park, students worked in groups to create adventure destinations out of recyclable materials supplied by the parents. They also learned about rocks and minerals.
In The Lab, students utilized small devices called Ozobots. They made paths with special markers, fittingly called Ozobot markers, which the Ozobots traveled on. As explained by Ava, a student at Camp Invention, the speed of the Ozobots is determined by the pattern of colors on the paths. They would travel slower on paths with a black marker and faster on paths with red, green and blue patterns. She also described an activity in which students created bracelets spelling their names in binary code.
In The Maker Studio, the students used electric charges to power up everyday appliances such as fans, light bulbs and bells. Through that exercise, the children used creativity and innovation as well as design engineering and design thinking to engage in problem-based learning.
After seeing the way these students approached their respective activities, it’s safe to say they had a great time at this program.
—James Murphy is a student journalist.