Camp Invention Inspires, Excites
For four wonderful days, children from the Bartow County and Cartersville City School Systems came to the Cartersville campus to exercise their creative and inventive muscles. Merry Clark, GHC assistant professor of biology, coordinated the efforts of the noisy crowd of first to sixth-grade children, assisted by Becky Broome and Anita Webb of Mission Road Elementary and Tammy Macaurelle of Kennesaw Charter School.
Goals of the program aim to foster interest in science among children early in their school careers and to develop analytical and problem-solving skills. Count that achieved. From devising methods of keeping fish from being ensnared in nets designed to pick out trash from polluted Honduras waters, to figuring out how to hurl a rubber duck ten to 20 feet forward, the campers prevailed. Even more astonishing was that they did so with a variety of mundane home products – cereal boxes, duct tape and string, for example.
All the campers showed their parents and interested GHC faculty and staff the stuff of their imaginations on Thursday, June 6 at a closing ceremony to celebrate their achievements. Clark said the ages of the campers actually aid their creativity. “They aren’t old enough yet to be hampered by cultural influences (like the notion that girls aren’t good at science, for example). So they really come up with some great ideas by talking in an uninhibited way among themselves.”
Some of the greatest challenges turned out to be compromising and integrating multiple student ideas to create a larger invention. But such compromise teaches valuable life lessons that will help them in their adulthood.
Camp Invention is just one more community project Georgia Highlands believes in. The more we can help our communities engage and excite children about learning, the better the long-term outcomes … and the stronger communities we build. Congratulations to all the Camp Invention campers and their parents.