Delaware News

June 16-20 summer camp

Camp Invention designed to unite left, right brains

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Delaware students will have the opportunity to think outside the box during Camp Invention this summer.

Camp Invention is a national program that started in 1990.

The program has been implemented by districts all over the country, including Olentangy Local Schools.

After speaking with leaders from Olentangy and other local school districts that have offered the program, the Delaware City School District decided to offer it to students who were in grades K-5 during the 2013-14 school year.

The one-week program will be offered from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. June 16-20.

The program was inspired by inductees into the National Inventors Hall of Fame, and builds on the science, technology, engineering and mathematics platform being taught in Delaware schools.

Jake Tawney, director of student services, said the district always has offered a summer program for students, but this year, leaders wanted wanted to do something different.

"We wanted to choose something that would shore up our academic foundation, but we always wanted something that was fun and entertaining, with real learning involved," he said.

Tawney said Camp Invention is well-liked among parents and students.

"I wanted to find out if that was true, so I called a lot of other districts," he said. "These other districts had nothing but positive experiences. The parents were happy, the kids were happy and the district was happy."

Tawney said the school district works to prepare students for the future, and a big part of that is developing creativity.

"Our culture is changing so rapidly that we need to prepare our kids for a constantly changing world," he said. "They need to be involved in real problem-based learning where they can develop skills to be creative."

Tawney said the district wants to get away from the idea that people are dominated by either one side of the brain in science and math, or the other in creativity, instead stressing that the sides can work together.

"(German mathematician) David Hilbert had a Ph.D. student who dropped studying math and went on to be a poet -- and he was quoted saying that it was probably a good thing because he wasn't creative enough to be a mathematician," Tawney said.

"This is what we're talking about. There is authentic process and creativity required in science and math. We want our students to have those creative-thinking skills," he said.

District teachers will lead the Camp Invention programs, while high school students will participate as camp counsel-ors.

This year's theme is "Morphed."

One of the activities includes building a vehicle that can operate on land, air and water.

Scholarship opportunities are available. For more information on Camp Invention, email Tawney at tawneyja@delawarecityschools.net.

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