Popular ‘Camp Invention’ Coming to SUNY Canton this Summer

Time machine adventures and bringing robotic creatures to life are just two of the projects students will embark on this summer during Camp Invention.

SUNY Canton will host the week-long day camp and site organizers have added an additional week to this year’s program due to the popularity of last year’s event. The first week will be held July 23 through July 27, while the second week will begin July 30 and conclude Aug. 3. The camp will be held in the College’s Richard W. Miller Campus Center.

Three students build a project from foil, cardboard, and bubble wrap.

The curriculum for this year is brand new and participants can register for either week or both weeks. Each session will feature different modules and will be capped at 60 students. Students entering grades one through six are eligible to participate.

Camp Invention, a program of Invent Now, provides participants with the opportunity to help cultivate the ideas critical to science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) by encouraging exploration and curiosity through innovative projects and collaborative hands-on activities.

Each five-day session includes four themed modules where participants will work in teams and explore, discover and creatively solve problems. Children will have a chance to present their findings and inventions to family and friends at the Inventors’ Showcase at the end of the week.

Ronald J. Tavernier, Jr., assistant professor of biology at SUNY Canton, and Mary E. Graham, a faculty member from Clarkson University, are the site organizers again this year.

“The feedback we received last year was entirely positive,” Tavernier said. “We had parents tell us they had been searching for a fun, engaging educational camp for their kids and we look forward to bringing that opportunity to more North Country students again this year.”

Last year, more than 80 children from across New York State let their creative sides run wild during the camp. Participants came from at least 12 local school districts including Canton, Clifton-Fine, Gouverneur, Hermon-DeKalb, Heuvelton, Lisbon, Madrid-Waddington, Norwood-Norfolk, Parishville-Hopkinton, Ogdensburg, Massena, and Potsdam. Students traveled from as far away as Buffalo to take part in the program.

Both Tavernier and Graham are working with local business owners to raise money that will help students who may not be able to pay the entire cost of the program.

“Last year, we had five students with financial need who were able to attend the camp because of the generosity of local community members and the St. Lawrence County American Association of University Women,” Tavernier said. “We’re hopeful that local business owners will give money towards these scholarships so anyone who wants to participate in Camp Invention has the ability to do so.”

Local certified teachers and educators also have the opportunity to engage in the program. Tavernier and Graham are currently accepting applications for instructors. They will also be accepting applications for counselor positions. Those interested in any position should apply no later than Friday, Mar. 30.

Camper registration is open and has already begun filling up. The cost of the program is approximately $200 per child for one week and participants can sign up for both weeks. The registration fee is discounted by $25 until March 30 and families enrolling three or more children will receive $50 off, per child. The early bird discount and family discount cannot be combined.

There are three ways to register: on-line at www.campinvention.org, by fax or mail or by telephone at 1-800-968-4332. The application form is also available by emailing Tavernier at tavernier@canton.edu or here.

For more information regarding the program, applying for a position or making a contribution, please contact Tavernier by email or at (315) 386-7986. Parents who are interested in volunteering with the camp should contact Graham at graham@clarkson.edu.

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