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Students attend Camp Invention this summer thanks APS Foundation grant


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  • Brian O'Malley/ APS Foundation

Students From Bethune Elementary In South Phoenix Take Part In Last Summer’s Camp Invention. Photo Courtesy National Inventors Hall Of Fame

One hundred students in South Phoenix will get to experience the magic of invention this summer, thanks to a grant from the APS Foundation.

Elementary school students in grades K-6 at Bethune Elementary School will be offered the opportunity to attend a week-long Camp Invention session at no cost to families.

Each day of the five-day camp is focused on a unique project. Students will learn about the science behind driverless cars as they design tracks for self-driving robots and explore impact sensors using crash test dummies.
They’ll discover the anatomy of dogs while customizing their own robotic dogs. And they’ll get hands-on with the Internet of Things, as they dream up and design their own smart technology mini-mansions filled with interactive gadgets limited only by their imaginations (think talking mirrors and toasters that know how to cook their favorite foods!).

Dinora Stanchik, a fifth and sixth grade math and science teacher at Bethune Elementary School, will be serving as the Camp Invention director at the school for a second consecutive summer. She says the camp was a huge hit with the students who participated last summer, and anticipation is already building for its return to the school in June.

“It’s so important to have something like this in this area. This grant allows these students to do science interactively, touch and feel gadgets they have never touched and overall form educational memories that will last beyond this school year. This is a camp that they could not otherwise afford to attend,” says Stanchik. “At the end, they get to keep materials, take them home to show their parents, and show their pride in what they have accomplished.”

Camp Invention shows students how they can apply classroom knowledge to real-life situations, explains Stanchik. “We get to see the students ‘ah-ha’ moments in the way they connect the classroom lessons to activities in camp,” says Stanchik. “For most it is an eye-opening experience that provides validity to what they learn on a daily basis.”

Each year, the APS Foundation, which has focused its support on STEM education since 2012, partners with organizations like the National Inventors Hall of Fame to fund programs that inspire the next generation of leaders.