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EUREKA!

Children will overcome a series of challenges using basic materials, simple machines, tips from famous inventors and the most important of all – their mind. With a little bit of ingenuity children will create catapults and forts, construct working light sticks to take home and assemble a set of circuits with batteries and light bulbs. While Thomas Edison said “invention is 10% inspiration and 90% perspiration|, this camp is 100% FUN!

 

 

Day 1 - Rock, Paper, Scissors

Inventing means curiosity! Leonardo da Vinci started as an artist and developed many scientific observations that he recorded in his notebooks over the course of his lifetime. Children learn about his many discoveries and try their hand at his experiments including writing notes backwards, measuring human proportions, building a self-supporting arch bridge and building catapults. The budding inventors bring home their da Vinci designs and devices at the end of the day.

 

Day 2 - Whiz Kids

Inventing means practicality! Inventions and patents to protect an invention were very popular in the late 1800s. Inventors Alexander Graham Bell, Thomas Edison and Nikola Tesla were locked in several battles over electrical inventions of their era. Children work together to form circuits and recreate Tesla's bright atmosphere for the 1893 World's Fair. They talk about sound and learn that anyone—a  child, woman, or man—can be an inventor. The class moves from simple devices to Rube Goldberg devices and the children perform as parts of a complex human-machine. The children prepare a patent proposal and receive a patent certificate at the end of the camp day.

 

Day 3 – Shipwrecked

Inventing means necessity! Archimedes and Benjamin Franklin both created devices to make their society function more smoothly. This day puts children on a “deserted island” on which they must work together to invent a means for collecting food and water, build shelters, bridges, and learn about density. They use the tools at hand to write messages to send in a bottle and witness a volcanic eruption. The children eventually design a boat to escape the island and bring it home.

 

Day 4 - Think Fast

Inventing means cooperation! Orville and Wilbur Wright worked together to develop the first self-controlled motorized flying machine. Their team efforts also lead to improved bicycle pedals and faster sleds. Children review technological advances in flight and work together to produce improved paper plane designs. They will work as a group to put historical flight events in chronological order. The children then step into space by launching self-built rockets and loading a payload capsule puzzle. These flight fanatics go home with a squadron of paper airplanes for further test flights.

 

Day 5 - Science Fiction

Inventing means dreaming! Jules Verne and Isaac Asimov wrote about things that would be available in the future. These science fiction writers developed the reality of their current technology into future possibilities. The children develop submarines that rise or sink and wind-up space stations. They follow a telecommunications timeline and develop one for transportation. The children decipher fact from fiction and play a future-based bingo game. These future inventors get a lesson on lasers and build their own light stick. The camp wraps up with a robotic relay and the children take home dreams of the future and new planets to explore.


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