June 24, 2016

Invent Now // Camp Invention

Area school districts partner to host summer STEM camps

CampInvention-blogpicDuring the summer of 2015, elementary students in Saginaw participated in the weeklong Camp Invention, an educational program of North Canton, Ohio based Invent Now, Inc. The camp is a weeklong summer program led by local teachers in over 1,300 schools nationwide. Its curricula focused on developing creativity, inventive thinking and problem solving skills through hands-on science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) content. 


Camp Invention was held in two locations in Saginaw serving students in grades 1-6. Saginaw Public Schools held their camp at Handley Elementary and Saginaw Township Community Schools, partnering with Saginaw Area Catholic Schools and Freeland Community Schools, held its camp at Hemmeter Elementary.


Camps at both locations were well attended with 101 campers at Handley and 95 campers at Hemmeter. Thanks in part to the grant awarded by Saginaw Community Foundation, 23 campers at Handley and 49 campers at Hemmeter received partial scholarships to attend.



“Seeing the looks on the kid’s faces – the smiles – the fun they are having doing math and science – it’s a refreshing change,” said Eric Marshall, co-director, Camp Invention – Hemmeter Site.




Becky Wilkins, director of the Camp Invention – Handley Site shares a similar thought: “The camp presents learning in a different way. Often, students that are not doing well in a traditional learning environment see great success in the camp setting.”


Grouped by age, the students rotate through various theme-based modules each day. Working in teams, the children complete activities which build upon each other daily. At the end of the week-long camp, the most anticipated activity called The Inventors Showcase, takes place. Proud students get to show-off their creations to family members. The event is always well attended and is standing-room only.


In addition to providing an enriching STEM-focused learning environment for the campers, Camp Invention also provides leadership opportunities for middle and high school students. Middle School students, comprised mostly of former campers, serve as counselors-in-training.


“They had so much fun, they didn’t want to leave,” said Becky.


High school students participated as leadership interns, a role that is like a camp counselor at a traditional summer camp.


“For the high school students, it’s a realization that they are no longer the kid, they are now a leader,” said Eric.


Learn more

Visit the Camp Invention website.

Download a PDF of Community Threads – Saginaw Community Foundation 2015 Annual Report