Art, Environment and Space are Highlights for Camp Invention

Children will explore Mars, renovate an art museum’s sculpture garden, and help rebuild a polluted town when the Camp Invention program returns to the RPSEC this summer. The program is scheduled for June 23rd through June 27th at the Ruth Patrick Science Education Center.

During a module called M.A.R.S. (Moving at Rocket Speed), Camp Invention participants will plan and execute a trip to Mars, becoming the first astronauts to explore the planet. In Art Park, participants will attempt to save a museum from the threat of losing donations by designing a new sculpture garden to please the public and the museum’s largest donor. During Saving Sludge City, the Camp Invention team will rebuild and clean a polluted city, making it a more eco-friendly environment for its residents.

The Camp Invention program, open to children entering first through sixth grades, fosters creativity, teamwork, inventive-thinking skills and science literacy. The program was created in 1990 by the National Inventors Hall of Fame Foundation, and receives support from the United States Patent and Trademark Office.

“Camp Invention’s creators continue to surprise and delight us with their innovative approach to education,” says John Hutchens, Camp Director. “Children who attend Camp Invention learn skills that enhance their abilities to brainstorm, solve problems and work in teams. As educators and parents, we know that children of all ages should continue sharpening these skills as we enter an era in which critical thinking will be extremely important to their future.” John Hutchens, of the Ruth Patrick Science Education Center, will direct a staff of local instructors and counselors. The program features a low staff-child ratio, with one staff member for every eight children.

More than 60,000 children in 48 states across the country attended the Camp Invention program in 2007. “Camp Invention is the perfect program for local communities,” explains Regional Coordinator Stacia Thacker. “The curricula we offer each summer provides a fun and creative educational experience in the community where a child lives. Local educators put their own spin on the program so that each of our sites is slightly different. We value the fact that we can offer that kind of flexibility.”

The Camp Invention program continues to get accolades from around the country. The president of the American Chemical Society, Catherine T. Hunt, spoke on National Public Radio’s Science Friday last August regarding Camp Invention as “bringing forward the next generation of inventors.” In addition, a Harvard study released in 2006 praised the Camp Invention program for its innovative hands-on enrichment activities. The program has been featured in more than two hundred newspapers and magazines, including Child, Invention & Technology, Inventors’ Digest, Scientific American Explorations, PTO Today, Gifted Child Today and others.

The $205 registration fee, due on or before May 31, includes daily snacks and a t-shirt. A discount of $20 per child is offered with the bring-a-friend program. (Aiken County School District employees can receive a $25 discount by calling 803-641-3474.) There is also an additional $5 discount for online registrants. Registrations received after May 31 require a $20 late processing fee. Each program is limited to 110 children. For more information, or to register, visit or call (800) 968-4332.