Thomas Edison said invention is 1 percent inspiration and 99 percent perspiration.

Anyone observing the students participating in last week's Camp Invention program would have to believe that formula also includes elation.

"It's so wonderful to see the kids running in the door in the morning excited to be at Camp Invention," said Jamie Lusher, chief academic officer of the Grandview Heights City School District. "They can't wait to get here in the morning, and they're sad when the day's activities end."

The atmosphere at Camp Invention "is a balance between chaos and learning," she said.

Camp Invention is a grant program funded by the National Inventors Hall of Fame.

"The goal is to keep kids engaged and excited about creativity and invention," Lusher said.

Each day during the five-day program, youngsters rotated through four stations, each of which offered hands-on activities involving creativity and problem-solving skills, she said.

In Optibot, students designed their own self-driving bot that senses changes in light and built tracks for their bots to follow.

Robotic Pet Vet used tools to take apart robotic dogs and compare their mechanics with the anatomy and physiology of a real dog. The students also designed and built dog parks.

Students focused on shelters for humans in Mod My Mini Mansion, creating a design for their own smart home that incorporates their own ideas for the technology and gadgets the homes would feature.

Youngsters built their own take-home mini-mansions.

Stick to It involved the chance to invent something new each day, including a dancing dinosaur, a plush cupcake catapult and a robotic arm to retrieve silver coins.

Students are encouraged to follow wherever their creativity takes them, Lusher said.

"The only time we might step in is if there might be something dangerous about it," she said.

"Camp Invention offers our students a chance to mix art and creative expression with science and engineering," Lusher said.

"I think that's why it appeals to so many students. Some are most interested in art but get to learn more about science, and others lean more toward science but get to explore their artistic side."

Ninety campers participated.

"I love the collaboration that goes on between students," Lusher said. "They are interacting with other students who have some of the same interests as they do."

At the Robotic Pet Vet station, Erin Szymanowski, 7, was working with her friends Leah Main and Maddox Harville on designing and building a slide as an amenity in their dog park.

"People like to go down a slide, so we thought dogs would like one, too," she said.

"Camp Invention is fun because we get to do something different every day," Erin said. "It's just having fun with your friends."

Will Turner, 8, was concentrating on adding a tower to the mini-mansion he was building.

"It's kind of tricky, because you have to make sure it doesn't make the whole building fall down," he said, as he carefully placed the tower.

Building things is only part of what makes Camp Invention a blast, Will said.

"I like how we get to build all these structures, but we also get to take apart things," he said. "It was really cool to take apart the robotic dogs and see what's inside and what makes it work."