Bald Eagle

BEA’s Camp Invention keeps youngsters’ brains busy during summer

Margaret Bonson helps Grace Seth make a game out of an old electronic device.
Margaret Bonson helps Grace Seth make a game out of an old electronic device. CDT photo

Water balloons were flying outside Wingate Elementary School on Thursday morning.

And it didn’t take long for about 25 students to get sopping wet.

The activity was part of a weeklong camp for students from four school districts in Centre and Clinton counties.

In partnership with the National Inventors Hall of Fame, the Bald Eagle Area School District hosted Camp Invention for kids in first through sixth grades.

Tracy Boone, the district’s director of curriculum and instruction, said the four-day program focused on STEM-related projects — science, technology, engineering and math.

“We were able to pull curriculum from the program and offer this camp for the first time,” Boone said. “We would have liked to start it last year, but didn’t have enough kids signed up.”

Wingate Elementary student Hunter Ishler tucked himself inside a cardboard box that was duct-taped to two skateboards. Teammates Gavin Bennett, Adra Spotts and Jordan Kormanec pushed Hunter through different checkpoints on a makeshift obstacle course while other students threw water balloons at him.

The goal was for each team of students to complete the course in the least amount of time while staying the driest.

Hunter’s group placed first in the competition — by one second.

Teacher Jacy Clark said students have been working through the week to create a go-kart that would keep them the driest during the hydro challenge. Students acquired items to use on the project based on points accumulated during other projects.

Other projects allowed students to disassemble electronics and turn the parts into game board mazes that enabled action figures to move from electric currents.

“It’s a great summer program that gets them to do different things,” teacher Jennifer Gilbert said. “From what I’m hearing from parents, they’re going home physically and mentally drained.”