Kaelynn Beedle, 5, looks into a kaleidoscope during the Camp Invention showcase at Thunder Mountain High School, Friday June 7, 2019. (Ben Hohenstatt | Juneau Empire)

Kaelynn Beedle, 5, looks into a kaleidoscope during the Camp Invention showcase at Thunder Mountain High School, Friday June 7, 2019. (Ben Hohenstatt | Juneau Empire)

Parents, kids scope out Camp Invention

Annual camp lets children be inventors

There were bots and boats Friday at Thunder Mountain High School Friday.

Camp Invention, an annual science, technology, engineering and math camp concluded with a showcase at the high school, and young campers were present to show off their handiwork made throughout the week to their families.

“It’s fun to build boats,” said David Cryan-Hayes, 10, after showing off his vessel, The Deep Sea Lynx.

David Cryan-Hayes, 10, hold The Deep Sea Lynx, a boat he made during Camp Invention at Thunder Mountain High School during the week of June 7, 2019. (Ben Hohenstatt | Juneau Empire)

David Cryan-Hayes, 10, hold The Deep Sea Lynx, a boat he made during Camp Invention at Thunder Mountain High School during the week of June 7, 2019. (Ben Hohenstatt | Juneau Empire)

Campers Kaelynn Beedle, 5, and Fischer Kolodiejski, 8, also said hands-on building activities were their favorite part of the camp.

Every year, the camp, which is a national nonprofit that is offered in partnership between the National Inventors Hall of Fame and the United States Patent and Trademark Office, tasks kids with trying out four different modules that help teach science concepts that can be applied to the world around them.

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For example, Farm Tech put campers in charge of managing a farm. The module taught the basics of running a business, but also introduced the fundamentals of coding techniques to maximize time management and profits. They also learned about DNA syntheses, so they could check the health of their newly purchased cattle.

Fischer Kolodziejski, 8, fans his boat while mom, Bobbie Joe Skibo, looks on during the Camp Invention showcase at Thunder Mountain High School, Friday, June 7, 2019. (Ben Hohenstatt | Juneau Empire)

Fischer Kolodziejski, 8, fans his boat while mom, Bobbie Joe Skibo, looks on during the Camp Invention showcase at Thunder Mountain High School, Friday, June 7, 2019. (Ben Hohenstatt | Juneau Empire)

“Juneau kids and farming was a little bit of a stretch,” camp director Adriana Northcutt told the Juneau Empire.

However, she said kids enjoyed learning about concepts from other, flatter parts of the country.

Other modules included were Deep Sea Mystery, which encouraged boat building; Innovation Force, which taught children about the importance of intellectual property and the Patent System; and DIY Orbot, which introduced elements of frequency, circuit boards, motors and gears.

The 11th annual Camp Inventions was the largest one yet held in Juneau, Northcutt said.

This year’s Camp Invention had about 40 more campers than usual, which meant plenty of young inventors and their families were present Friday, June 7, 2019 at Thunder Mountain High School.

This year’s Camp Invention had about 40 more campers than usual, which meant plenty of young inventors and their families were present Friday, June 7, 2019 at Thunder Mountain High School.

“Every year we have 30-50 kids on the wait list, so this year we said, ‘Well, why don’t we just make it bigger, and have the camp include more kids,’” Northcutt said while addressing campers and families.

This year, Northcutt said there were a total of 165 kindergarten through sixth-grade students present for the Monday-Friday STEM celebration.

She gave a hearty thanks to high school interns and younger camp leaders who helped make the event possible.

• Contact reporter Ben Hohenstatt at (907)523-2243 or bhohenstatt@juneauempire.com. Follow him on Twitter at @BenHohenstatt.


• Contact reporter Ben Hohenstatt at (907)523-2243 or bhohenstatt@juneauempire.com. Follow him on Twitter at @BenHohenstatt.


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