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Camp Invention a ‘hit’ at Farragut Intermediate

Camp Invention debuted at Farragut Intermediate School with 72 students last week, June 28 through July 2.

The science-based Camp creates a hands-on learning experience. Students from various schools in Knox County participated.

By day four of the five-day camp, student projects were nearly complete.

A Farragut Primary School student invented her own alarm clock buffer during the Camp’s “I Can Invent” program.

“I have sensitive ears and I’m trying to make something that will make my alarm clock less noisy,” Ada Cruikshank, 7, said.

FPS student Grant Coggin, 7, built a spy robot.

“I always wanted something to help me spy.”

He plans to spy on his two younger brothers.

He taped together the front of a CD player with computer parts. He plans to “tie a trailer to a remote control car” and maneuver undetected around his brothers.

FIS Camp coordinator and former elementary school principal, Emily Lenn, keeps a keen ear to parents’ reactions throughout the week.

“It’s the best program I’ve ever seen,” Lenn said.

Lenn heard one student was so busy helping others, he forgot about his own project.

Children don’t want Camp to end.

Lenn said, “A mom said to me, ‘I’ve gotta tell you about Patrick; this morning he asked what day it was. I told him Wednesday, and he said ‘Aw, man I wish it were Monday so I’d have five days at camp!’”

Amanda “Dr. Fearless” Shaver, a FIS teacher, said, “The program allows all the students an opportunity to create and work as a team and work toward a goal.”

The curriculum handed to them through the national program teaches problem solving, physics, creativity, teamwork and eco-friendliness, Shaver said.

Problem solving and helping each other were two key life lessons students are taught at the Camp.

FIS fourth-grade teacher Casey Crowell said, “We learned about landfills and how to create a more green city.”

Her classroom is a mini city, complete with an entire wall decked-out to depict a pollution-free side of a city and a heavily polluted side.

Students in her class have to clean up a mini city, designing a way to run a non-toxic city.

“I had a student say to me on his way to lunch, ‘I want more time to decorate’ –– who cares about lunch?’”

Lenn hopes the program will return next year; adding 72 students is “a good number” to start.

A.L. Lotts Elementary has hosted the event for a few years and it boasted 73 students earlier in June –– just one more than the new program at FIS.

“I’m thrilled to have 72 kids. They’re from all over. They make new friends here and pitch in, helping each other.”

On the fifth day of Camp, students show parents their inventions.


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