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Getting summer down to an exact science

Published 8:02pm Saturday, June 22, 2013

Camp Invention features fun, hands-on education

Summer doesn’t have to sink fourth through eighth graders into the doldrums. Instead, they can spend a week at Camp Invention.

“It’s just a weeklong summer enrichment program,” explained one of the program coordinators, Julie Goree. “It reinforces the traditional school year with science, technology, engineering and math activities.”

This is the second year the nationally acclaimed camp – provided through nonprofit Invent Now – will be offered in Alexander City.

Camp Invention will be directed by Goree and Tracy Teel and will be held July 15–19 at Radney School. Registration is open, and cost is $40 per child.

Forty children were given the opportunity to attend last year, Goree said. This year enrollment limitations have been upped to 60.

“They’ll be doing hands-on science activities, and children love science. Science is something that can really enrich them,” said Michelle Tuggle, one of the educators for the camp and a fifth grade history/writing teacher at Radney. “I have talked it up as soon as I found out about it to my fifth grade students. I’m hoping we’ll have a good turnout.”

The camp is centered on four learning modules, such as “I can invent: Launchitude” which challenges children to “launch international rubber ducks to their country origin and race to destroy competitor duck territory,” according to the program description.

“That puts physics – trajectory and velocity – into practical use,” Goree said.

Tuggle will teach the Ecoverse module, in which “expedition teams embark on a quest to explore the earth in the sky, underwater, on land and underground” according to the program description.

“It’s about ecosystems and volcanoes – it’s all about earth sciences,” Tuggle said. “It gives them the chances to really learn about the communities within our ecosystem and how the earth is built.”

Other modules are Cache Dash, which requires the campers to “invent solutions to real world problems in France, Singapore, Honduras, Hawaii, Cuba and Sudan” after finding treasure filled caches, as well as Amazing Atlas Games, in which campers “investigate five extremes of the natural world” through high-energy games.

Tuggle said the camp can introduce children to fields like geology, anthropology and seismology.

“I think it’s important for kids to be immersed in science at an early age because that can give them direction into a career path,” Tuggle said. “I think kids often think of science as being related more to the medical side, and I think it opens their eyes to all the opportunities.

“They’ll read, they’ll do math – it will kind of help them bridge from summer to starting the first day of school.”

Registration forms are available at the Alexander City Board of Education on Lee Street and at Radney School.

Registration fee includes lunch and snack.

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