Over 100 students this week took to the classrooms of GC Burkhead Elementary School to learn and have fun at Camp Invention.
The camp is a non-profit summer enrichment program that contains modules and activities where students can build and learn about various inventions.
Last year, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the camp moved to an online-only format, with students staying at home and using materials shipped to their homes.
Alisa Nichols, second year teacher at GC Burkhead and camp coach, has been involved with the camp for 13 years.
Nichols said students in Grades 1 through 6 are always on the move, alternating between five different classes every day. They are allowed to invent, create and think outside the box of a traditional classroom environment.
“They are learning, but they don’t realize they are learning,” Nichols said.
Nichols said he has 121 students with nine leaders in training. The cap for the camp is 124.
The total cost of a week of camp for each student is $ 235. However, Nichols said those who signed up for the camp early got a discount and that there are scholarships for students as well.
Students receive breakfast and lunch during their stay at the camp. They also leave each day with the projects they work on and create.
Madison Kisselbaugh, a recent graduate of the University of Campbellsville and a graduate of Central Hardin High School, taught the “Rally on the Road” activity classes, where students “design nature-inspired vehicles that can zoom on earth and add prototype items to move through air and water, ”according to a press release.
Kisselbaugh said she is certified to teach kindergarten to grade five students. She said Nichols contacted her about the summer teaching job.
“I wanted to hang out with some of the local kids here, and I wanted to be able to get to know some of them,” Kisselbaugh said.
She said the camp provides all the supplies, equipment and lessons, without needing a lot of preparation.
Kisselbaugh said the camp is another chance for students to learn and develop during the summer.
“It’s kind of a little extra push for them to grow up and continue to use their critical thinking throughout the summer,” Kisselbaugh said.
Students are encouraged to bring recyclable items such as milk jugs, water bottles, and empty boxes to use as materials for their projects.
Nichols said those who teach need to adapt their teaching as they work with different grade levels.
Sarah Kolley is a first grade teacher who works as a kindergarten teacher at Panther Academy. Her aunt, Nichols, asked her to work at the camp this summer.
Kolley specifically worked with students on the “Open Mic” module.
Students receive a real microphone, take it apart and learn more during the camp. Kolley said the students also get to know the inventor of the microphone and also take notes in their logbooks which are also given to the students.
Kolley said they also go through the process of creating an invention, including identifying the problem that a person wants to solve with an invention and then eventually creating something with materials.
She said the camp gives students the opportunity to take risks and create things while having fun.
“I think for this whole camp in general, not just my open mind is just encouraging students to take risks and look for solutions,” Kolley said.
The program, which ends today, also took place this week at Abraham Lincoln Elementary School in Hodgenville.