NEW PALESTINE, Ind. (WTHR) - Small robots scoot across the classroom floor at New Palestine Intermediate School this week at Camp Invention.
Students are working on STEM projects that challenge their creativity and problem-solving skills.
Fifth grader Jack Potter plays soccer with his “orbot", a remote controlled, kid-adapted robot. Potter is one of 92 kindergarten through 6th grade students at Camp Invention.
"I like the way that they run it,” said Potter, a first-timer at the camp. “They make crafts that are fun for people with a lot of different personalities."
"Camp Invention is really about putting together hands-on, fast-paced, backwards by design STEM type activities that children can be engaged in during the summer,” said Cathy Purciful, host site director.
Students adapt their orbot for a new task each day. On Thursday, the orbots knocked down towers of toy building blocks and small boxes. Campers explored the circuit boards, motors and gears of their orbots and even created artwork with them.
"We just kind of taped a pen to the orbots and drew with them,” said Potter, looking at a large poster covered with random lines, circles and curves. “So, it doesn't really make sense. It's just like nonsense.”
Students rotate each day through five curriculum stations, learning about inventors and their inventions and building their own. On Thursday, the kindergarten group launched small boats they constructed into a baby pool. The students added metal washers one-by-one to see how much weight the boats could hold before sinking.
"Be creative,” said Purciful. “Innovative thinking, a lot of designing, going through the design process, creating prototypes and experiencing failure and then how to learn from that process and then be able to build and rebuild it how they want it to be."
"I like it because it's indoors,” said 5th grader Adrienne Romberg. “In the summer, it's really hot, but inside you're kind of cool and you can do more stuff inside with technology."
Cool stuff with technology makes summer school fun.