Summer of invention

Clarkston News Staff Writer
Matthew McCormick kept adding more washers to his boat during Camp Invention last Thursday.
He had made some adjustments to his boat to see if it could hold more than 68 washers before it started taking on water.
The adjustments worked as he continued to add more after the 70 mark. The boat held more than 100 and he joined the 100-plus club.

Declan Leitner works on making a home for piglets to protect them from predators in the Farm Tech module. Photo by Wendi Reardon Price

McCormick and many others created a boat during the Deep Sea Mystery module where they had a number of challenges including making an underwater breathing apparatus and an underwater vessel for exploration.
During the week, campers learned about constellations, reading maps, longitude and latitude, and how sailors used the stars to navigate.
They followed a fossil all week and received clues to figure out if it was a fish still alive in modern time or if it was extinct.
The second module was Farm Tech where campers managed their own farm and learned the basics of running a business.
They started the week learning about pollution and oil. They used a special dirt called hydrophobic microorganisms and learned how it is scared of water.
They used it to pull oils out of the ground. Then, they started farming the land on Tuesday when they learned about planting and began using small programmable robots called Bot-ANN-E.
They also learned how to move hay and created hay launchers. They learned about protecting animals and about a company that makes stickers which vibrate for a mother pig wouldn’t crush the baby piglets. The campers then made homes for piglets to protect them from predators.
Campers made superhero uniforms in the Innovation Force module as they were transformed into superheros to battle the Plagiarizer, who was out to steal ideas.
During the week the made an engraved Glo Logo nightlight with a logo to use in advertising campaigns as they learned about marketing. They also used the TM and R symbols for trademarked or copyrighted.
They worked on prototypes and then applied for patents for their inventions.
The final module was DIY Orbot where the campers learned about frequencies, circuit boards, motors and gears as they worked on remote-controlled robots.
Each day they adapted their robots for the different challenges like a bulldozer on Thursday. They had to think of ways to make their Orbot the ultimate bot-dozer while making it interesting but also a working bulldozer while keeping in mind the more items on the Orbot, the more it gets weighed down.
Director Kristin Rhodes added the kids showcased everything they made during the week on Friday to their family members. Then, they took all their creations home.
“The cool thing is their robots go home with them,” she said.
For more information about Camp Invention, please visit

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