Camp Invention’s “Action-Packed Summer” returns to Dickinson Middle School

Camp Invention, a nationally recognized non-profit summer enrichment camp program, is once again making its way to Dickinson Middle School the week of July 27. (Photo courtesy of Camp Invention)

Camp Invention, a nationally recognized non-profit summer enrichment camp program, is once again making its way to Dickinson Middle School the week of July 27.

Last year’s programming featured twenty-seven area students, grades kindergarten through fifth, participating in Camp Invention at Dickinson Middle School to engage them in science, technology, engineering and mathematics.

The program featured four different modules, one on each day of the program, which incorporated hands-on activities centered on creativity, teamwork and problem-solving skills.

Sarah Fox, the director of the Dickinson Camp Invention site for 2019, spoke with The Press about the importance of the program.

"They use a lot of growth-mindset where they have to fix something that doesn't work," she said. "They use a lot of recycled materials to create prototypes of inventions. There is not a lot of emphasis on making a working device, rather the students are working on fostering creative thinking and problem-solving."


According to representatives from Camp Invention, the program this year fully understands and appreciates the importance of social distancing recommendations and will continue to adjust its in-person programs to be in compliance with best practice safety measures.

“This year’s planned activities will feature precautions that include daily monitoring of temperatures for all children and Program Team Members; social distancing within classrooms; increased sanitation practices within the building and scheduled hygiene checks; and smaller student groups with staggered lunch schedules,” Ken Torisky, senior public relations coordinator with The National Inventors Hall of Fame, said. “Programs will follow all state and regional COVID-19 guidelines.”

A program of the National Inventors Hall of Fame (NIHF) in partnership with the United States Patent and Trademark Office, Camp Invention challenges children in grades K-6 to find their “inner inventor” by learning the process of innovation.

Using hands-on activities, Camp Invention promotes STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) learning; builds confidence, leadership, perseverance, resourcefulness and problem-solving skills; and encourages entrepreneurship — in a fun and engaging environment.

“In the unprecedented times we’re all experiencing, these lessons are even more valuable,” Torisky said.

Each year, the program features a new curriculum inspired by some of our nation’s most world-changing inventors — the NIHF Hall of Famers.

This year’s “Elevate” curriculum features several video challenges from inductees encouraging children to be confident in their ideas and explore their innovativeness. These hands-on activities include:

Camp Invention Flight Lab: Imaginations soar as children learn about flight with gliders, rockets, heliballs and hand-copters. They build a cityscape from upcycled materials, navigate planes through a storm and take apart a robot.


Design Thinking Project: Campers learn the value of their creativity as they bring their biggest ideas to life. To become successful innovators, they create sketches, build prototypes, design logos and find out how to pitch their invention while protecting their intellectual property.

Rescue Squad: Using teamwork and problem-solving skills, children protect the Earth’s ecosystems. Inspiring activities include creating pods to compete in zipline races, exploring energy conservation, eliminating pollution and helping wildlife in habitats across the country.

Camp Invention Champions: As they discover the unseen inventors behind their favorite sports, campers apply their own ingenuity. They trade inventors playing cards, create and play their own high-energy hover-ball games, and design and build the ultimate sports complex.

At the end of the program, each camper will bring home a robot.

For more information about Camp Invention, visit

James B. Miller, Jr. is the Editor of The Dickinson Press in Dickinson, North Dakota. He strives to bring community-driven, professional and hyper-local focused news coverage of southwest North Dakota.
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