Camp Invention is Amazing!

Last week, the district offered Camp Invention at Penn Brook for students in the elementary grades. This was the fourth year of the program and every year the program has grown in numbers. The first year we had about 50 students, last year we had 100 students and this year the camp filled to capacity at 125 in March. I would say that this is one way that we know that the program is successful but the more important way is seeing what the kids get out of it every year.  Just ask any one of them and you will be impressed!

Every year, the program has a different theme.  This year they worked on coding and learning how to program mechanical dogs among other things. As I walked into Penn Brook on Monday I could immediately hear the excited voices in the classrooms all the way out into the lobby. When I went into each classroom, the excitement and energy was unbelievable.  Students were 100% actively engaged, asking questions, solving problems, trying out ideas and approaches, collaborating with one another and  all were very focused on the task at hand. Whether it be visiting the recycle room to get supplies, building cardboard houses or drawing plans, I was excited to see that these kids  were so excited! They really pulled me into what they were doing and I was hooked! The loudest and most excited room I visited  on that day was the room in which the students had constructed their mechanical dogs and figured out how to make them move and do tricks using coding. I was told the next day that they would be doing several tests on their dogs, one of which was  to see if they had diabetes which I wish I was able to see!

Last Friday was  the final day of the program where families were  invited to visit to see the culmination of all the learning for the  week and I am sure they were impressed and amazed. When we talk about 21st century learning, this is a model to see it in action!  I want to thank the Program Director Heidi Begin and Assistant Director Jill Valli and all of the teachers and high school mentors who made this program such a great success! You are all  amazing and I hope you have a nice summer!