Bethel Park is proud to host the largest Camp Invention in Western Pennsylvania. Created by the National Inventors Hall of Fame, Camp Invention is a week-long day camp for students entering Grades K-6, that encourages them to explore the world of invention, and learn through testing, trying, failing and discovering.
The Bethel Park program beganfour years ago at William Penn with 74 students, but growing enrollment forced the program to move to Neil Armstrong Middle School, where this year 146 students from 36 area public and private schools learned together.
This year's Camp Invention theme was "Super Charged," and students had the opportunity to participate in four areas: Farm Tech, Innovation Force, Deep Sea Mystery and DIY Orbot.
In Farm Tech, students learned about the technological advances of farming today. They programmed a robot to perform farming tasks such as hatching eggs, planting seeds and corralling pigs. Students also learned how to make hydrophobic sand; invent pollinating devices; run DNA lab tests to see if cows might develop genetic disease; invent hay-launching devices; practice milking; and compete in sledding lawn mower races.
In Innovation Force, students created a team of invention superheroes to stop the evil Plagiarizer from stealing ideas. Students learned how to protect ideas with patents and trademarks, came up with names, logos and disguises for their superheroes; learned about x-ray imaging, and made a device to light up the sky to spread the word about their superheroes' superpowers.
In Deep Sea Mystery, students became research scientists on a mission to discover if a fossil they found represents a current or extinct fish. Students learned how to use nature to navigate, and made a My Polaris Projector Scope; constructed seaworthy vessels to withstand wind and water; and designed special underwater equipment.
In DIY Orbot, students customized bots with spoons and craft sticks to turn them into soccer players. Throughout the week the students modified their bots to perform a variety of tasks, such as navigating on and under bridges they built; drawing on a blank canvas; dancing; and demolishing towers. The students also took the bot apart to better understand its inner workings.
Camp Invention is directed by NAMS Teacher Laura Huth
and is staffed by several Bethel Park and area teachers. Please click here
to see some photos from this year's Camp Invention.