Inspiring young minds
LaBrae hosting Camp Invention for Valley’s gifted students
LEAVITTSBURG — Solar crickets that move, small machines and microphone dissection are among the various learning activities for a week-long gifted program offered to students this summer.
LaBrae and other area students in grades kindergarten to sixth have been spending the week taking part in various hands-on learning activities at Camp Invention.
Bascom Elementary kindergarten teacher Stephanie Walton, coordinator of the event, said the camp is run by the National Inventors Hall of Fame, which provides the curriculum and materials and was started in the early 1990s.
“The whole idea is to get the kids inspired to create and invent and use STEM skills to become deeper thinkers. Each day, the children visit four different modules at the school that each have a different task. We allow children to think about the whole design process of coming up with an idea and how to make it better,” Walton said.
Students in different age groups have learned about velocity and trajectory, patent laws for inventions to make sure they are original and creating small vehicles that move with propellers.
The program with sessions lasting six hours per day has captured the interest of 65 students.
Four teachers, nine high schoolers and four middle school students assisted at the four modules.
Walton said this is the third year for the summer program, but in 2020 the event was held virtually and with fewer students.
She said children from LaBrae, Hubbard, Crestview, Maplewood, Girard and Poland are participating.
“We have a lot of return campers from 2019 who have come back this year. There is a curriculum set for the younger children and one set for the older children. Every single day they visit all four modules following a schedule,” Walton said.
She said the children will display their inventions and projects at an Inventors Showcase and provide a tour to one family member on Friday.
Bascom Principal Maggie Kowach said the LaBrae Elementary Boosters and the school district provided funds for the extended gifted learning summer program.
She said they reached out to gifted instructors at local educational service centers in Trumbull and Mahoning counties to let them know the program was available.
Nelliana Crevier, 7, a third-grader, said she liked the microphone room in which students were able to dissect a microphone and see what the circuits and wires look like.
Logan Thompson, 8, also a third-grader, said she likes the different activities she gets to take part in.
“We made homes to protect our crickets. We made cars that move in road rally,” she said.
LaBrae juniors Grace Barnhart and Nadeen Alsharif are among the helpers for the fifth and sixth grades.
“We help provide guidance and take them from module to module. It is an honor to be selected to be part of this,” Barnhart said.
“I like seeing how creative the students can be. They rarely need our help and are able to build things themselves,” Alsharif said.