STEM for the Summer: Camp Invention

STEM for the summer

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This week I was chatting with Marisa Langford of Adventures of a Tampa Mama, a fellow mother who works from home and has four children. I asked her, “What are you doing with the kids this summer?”

My intention in asking that question was to learn how she was going to cover both her workload and her children’s care when school was out of session, a dilemma I believed we shared. I thought she might answer with her childcare or work arrangement, or even commiserate with me on how tough it is to handle both in the summer months.

But Marisa completely, innocently and awesomely misunderstood my question. She responded with an enthusiastic, happy rundown of the things she has planned for her kids this summer and their family travel plans. This optimistic, glass-half-full and education-minded mom (and rockstar Girl Scout leader!) sees summer as an ideal opportunity for her kids to learn more, rather than as a period of time in which the school year routine is annoyingly disrupted.

Tampa Mama is my new hero. Starting now, I am going to adopt her outlook that summer is a chance for exploration and enrichment. That means that in addition to trying out new Washington, DC area activities with my crew, per usual, I am also signing them up for day camps that are both educational and exciting.

One cool option I just learned about is Camp Invention — the only nationally-recognized summer program for students entering first through sixth grades that focuses on STEM, innovation and the spirit of invention. For one week sessions, kids experience hands-on, real-world problem solving through applying science, technology, engineering and math concepts. The program is designed to be wholly different than a week in a boring classroom to give kids a “leg up” on other students. Rather, Camp Invention aims to give inventive young minds a chance for creativity and imagination in ways they don’t normally receive during the standard school year.

Each year the Camp Invention curriculum is different, and this year’s is Epic — inspired by inductees of the National Inventors Hall of Fame and members of the United States Patent and Trademark Office. Students will gear up and design an eco-adventure park with zip lines and water flumes, construct and personalize a DIY solar-powered cricket and its habitat, brainstorm new product ideas, and go nuts in a kid-centric lab that covers slime, giant squids and demolition. Oh, and there’s some fun coding thrown in, too.

The idea is that kids who attend Camp Invention do not realize they are developing new skills and intensifying their learning…they are having too much innovative fun.

The Camp Invention counselors are educators who reside and teach in the community. Camp Invention serves more than 94,000 students every year through nearly 1,400 camps across the nation.

Lucky for us, there are over 40 Camp Invention sites in the DC Metro Area. DC, Maryland and Virginia all have Camp Invention programs this summer. Locate the one nearest you.

Limited Offer: $25 Off Camp Invention 

The first 20 people to register for Camp Invention and forward their registration confirmation email — along with the reference of reading about it here at A Parent in Silver spring — to communications@invent.org will get a $25 refund!

Spring Discount

Register before May 10 and receive $15 off by using the promo code SPRING.

Sibling Discount

Families registering three or more siblings living in the same household earn $50 off per child. This discount does not have a “register by” expiration date.

This post is brought to you by Camp Invention and The Motherhood. All opinions are my own.

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