Camp Invention

Jynasis Hasty works with her optibot during Camp Invention at Willow Springs Elementary School in Killeen.

Willow Springs Elementary in Killeen wrapped up hosting the Camp Invention’s summer STEM program Thursday.

Attendees engaged in indoor and outdoor activities to study STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) principles and job fields at the weeklong camp.

Camp attendees learned how to build small robots and other activities.

Camp Invention has been met with great community enthusiasm since it began running in Killeen about 10 years ago, officials said. Last year, just over 80 students attended. This year, the program hit its 120-cap limit. Killeen Evening Lions Club donated $5,000 to the program this year, allowing 38 students to attend for free.

Though the program is aimed to accommodate grades kindergarten through sixth grade, local high school and middle school students are given opportunities to volunteer and gain leadership experience, as well. High school through college students can apply for a Leadership Internship and middle school students can apply for the counselor-in-training program. This year, 16 students were in Camp Invention leadership positions.

After a few years as a camp attendee, Ellison High School student Brenden Mitchell is now a leadership intern.

“I helped at the camp before as an attendee and had fun,” Brenden said. He has future ambitions to go through Naval flight school or pursue a career as an airline pilot.

“Camp Invention is a great opportunity for young inventors to have a great experience while learning about engineering, sciences, mathematics, technology and jobs,” Camp Invention Camp Director Regina Beard said. “Learning is out there. It’s a great opportunity for kids.”

An instruction team of five teachers and two directors oversaw the camp this year.

Next year’s program location will be determined. For more about the program and how to participate, visit the Camp Invention website at campinvention.org.

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