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Camp Invention Kicks Off

School is out for the summer, but more than 130 students are kicking off their vacations by returning to the classroom for five-day crash course in science, math and more at the Harrison Middle School.


The students are participating in Camp Invention, a national program for students in grades K-6 focusing on STEM concepts – Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics. Working in teams, the young inventors tap into their creativity to complete problem-solving exercises with real-world applications.


Challenges involve programmable robots, circuit boards and more high-tech gadgets that spark the young inventors to come up with ideas about how to launch their own business, rescue themselves from a deserted island and battle a supervillain. The National Inventors Hall of Fame developed the programs for Camp Invention, and similar lessons will be taught at about 1,600 campuses across the United States.


Though the curriculum is national, the instructors at every campus are local educators.


The Middle School program is led by a group of Harrison School District faculty, including camp director Erin Lieblong and assistant director Kelsey Brightwell. They oversee a team including fellow Goblin educators Dallas Jensen, Mandie Street, Alicia Morris, Emily Barrett, Amy Winkle, Kyndall Jenkins, Rebeca Crow and Sydney Thompson, along with several other volunteers and counselors in training.


About 90 percent of the 131 students involved in the camp are Harrison students, with the remaining students coming from the surrounding communities. There is only one other Camp Invention scheduled within 60 miles of Harrison, making this week a relatively exclusive experience for local youth.


"Camp Invention is an opportunity for students to learn by doing. We team build, keep them engaged 100 percent of the time, and watch them grow as learners," Lieblong said. "They feel empowered, innovative, and challenged through collaboration and problem solving. Students grow so much during this week. They grow academically, but they also grow socially and emotionally. Camp Invention is a powerful tool for learning."


Camp Invention continues daily through June 7.


More Summer Camps Planned


If you missed the opportunity to sign up for Camp Invention, but are still looking for things to do this summer, you can register for three additional summer camps led by Goblin officials this July.


The Little Hooper Basketball Camp (grades 1-6) runs July 8-10, while the Goblin Soccer Academy (grades 7-12) is slated for July 22-25  Another soccer camp, the NASA Youth Academy (ages 5-10) will be held July 29-August 1. The Goblin Soccer Academy is exclusively for Harrison students, the other camps are open to the public.


Space is limited, so be sure to register early. Click the links for more information about each camp, or download registration forms below.


Little Hooper Basketball Camp Registration Form


Goblin Soccer Academy Registration Form


NASA Youth Academy Registration Form