Sun, Feb. 23

C-OC summer camp for young inventors
Camp Invention goal is to 'spur creativity in children'

Verde Valley students entering first through sixth grades have the opportunity to attend Camp Invention this summer. It is a weeklong summer camp at Cottonwood Elementary School July 16 - 20.

Co-directors for the camp are Trish Hutchinson, a teacher in the Cottonwood Middle School's Advanced Learner program, and Lynette Prouty, of the Parent Teacher Organization. A staff of local teachers and counselors will run the program with a teacher-to-student ratio of one staff member for every eight children.

"The whole thing is to spur creativity in children," Hutchinson said. She said the camp is sponsored by the Cottonwood-Oak Creek School District's gifted program. "This is our first foray into summer camp."

Although there will be a registration fee of $199 per child, most of the funding comes through the National Inventors Hall of Fame Foundation with additional support from the United States Patent and Trademark Office.

"They provide us with all the materials," Hutchinson said. She said the camp activities comprise five modules called, "I can invent."

Hutchinson said the students create a fantasy invention, including a thrill ride for an amusement park. "They will improve a skate board by making it safe," she said. "It's all based on physics."

The children are all asked to bring something from home that is broken. They will take it apart. But instead of trying to repair the item, they will use the parts to make something new.

The kids will create, explore and design. They will perform experiments and find out what's inside things, like home appliances.

The daily program runs from 9 a.m. until 3:30 p.m. and the children receive two snacks a day.

Created in 1990, Camp Invention is held in about 800 sites around the country. The CES camp is the only one in Northern Arizona.

Registration deadline is May 31. After that date, a late fee of $10 will be charged.

For more information or to register, contact Lynette Prouty at 649-1752 or or contact Trish Hutchinson at 634-7067.

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