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Inventive students learn about science at area summer camp

Old computers, broken printers and outdated appliances may soundlike trash to some. But for the children participating in CampInvention, those items have a thousand possibilities.

Wesson Attendance Center has been the home of a four-day campthis week that encourages ingenuity and resourcefulness.

“It’s mainly science, but they learn higher level thinkingskills, problem solving and team work,” said camp coordinator HollyBridwell.

This year’s program, called “Encounter,” includes sessionscalled Sea Worthy, The Lost Treasure, Fair Games, Amazing Games andI Can Invent.

“I like taking apart the inventions and putting together anotherone,” said 11-year-old Jacob Tarver.

In the “I Can Invent” class, children bring old appliances fromhome and then take them apart to see the different types ofmechanical and electrical parts the appliances have. Afterdisassembly, the children use the parts to create a problem-solvinginvention.

“(Camp Invention) provides enrichment and fun for childrenduring the summer,” Bridwell said. “They get to do things here atcamp that they don’t get to do in a regular classroom.”

Printers, fans, radios, computers, videocassette recorders andold toys become objects of learning and old newspapers, boxes,bottles, cans, magazines and bags become objects of creativity.

For one activity, the kids have an erupting volcano. Usingrecyclable materials, they have to create “protective wear” toshield them from the “heat” of the blast, Bridwell said.

“Boxes become shoes. Bags become clothes, and coffee cans becomehats,” she said.

Each day of the camp presents a new theme. Crazy hat day, crazyhair day and wacky outfit day make the environment fun andplayful.

“It’s camp, not school, and they have fun,” Bridwell said.

In oceanography class, the children experiment with buoyancy bytesting an object’s potential to float. The children also learnfacts about the ocean and the earth.

“We learned about the ocean and the ocean on the earth is 70percent water,” said 7-year-old Harmoni Ashley.

“97 percent of that water is salt water,” added 8-year-oldJordan Bailey.

Camp Invention will close its second year at Wesson AttendanceCenter on Friday.

“I went here last year,” said 8-year-old Caleb Ray. “I like allthe classes.”