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By KELLY RICHARDSON email@example.com
RADCLIFF — A display in the hallway of Meadow View Elementary School featured many a drink container. Having lost their primary usefulness after the last drop was gone, the containers were given a rebirth as sculptures made in Art Park, and displayed in the hallway of Meadow View Elementary School. Art Park is a session at Camp Invention, held this week at the school.
The sculptures represent what’s at the heart of Camp Invention — brainstorming new ways of doing things, using familiar formulas and equipment.
Camp Invention provides curriculum and materials to schools across the country for day camps. Camp Invention emphasizes creative thinking and problem-solving.
Linda Gillispie helps coordinate the program at Meadow View. The day camp began at the site five years ago with 30 students and now has 50 or more who attend. Students who will enter first through sixth grade in the following school year are eligible to attend.
Another session of the program is offered next week at G.C. Burkhead Elementary School.
Gillispie enjoys seeing the ideas students develop in the different sessions they attend, which include a class about space, where students drop balls into flour to see how different factors affect the size of “craters” formed, and a class in which students take apart an appliance to create something new.
“The best thing about this camp is they use their imagination to have fun, but they learn without even realizing it,” Gillispie said.
The camp is such a hit with some students they return as junior counselors when they are too old to attend.
Kat Florek will be a seventh-grader at James T. Alton Middle School and attended Camp Invention the five years it was available to her.
“I like it so much I didn’t want to leave,” Florek said.
Florek said she wanted younger students to see that the Camp Invention experience was more fun than they thought a day camp could be. She met new people at the camp and it helped her with schoolwork, especially in science.
“I learned you can use your imagination even in school,” she said.
Allison McClain will be a sixth-grader at Bluegrass Middle School. This week was her first experience at Camp Invention.
“I think it’s pretty cool,” she said.
McClain sees the education benefits of the camp, too.
“I’ll be able to understand more of the content they’re teaching,” when she returns to school, she said.
Michelle Fletcher, an assistant at Meadow View, has worked with the camp for two years, since her son attended. It’s fun to see what the campers come up with, she said.
“It broadens their brain, you can see their brains just turning and spinning,” she said.
Kelly Richardson can be reached at (270) 505-1747.