Exploring the Earth and Beyond in Levittown
Nearly 100 children spent two weeks studying science as the Levittown School District hosted Camp Invention at Wisdom Lane Middle School. The program was open to students entering third through fifth grade and led by teachers from the district's elementary and high schools.
The young scientists participated in four workshops. In Duct Tape Billionaire, they designed products to design and sell, and also completed engineering challenges by building structures that could withstand the weight of rolls of duct tape. Students launched water rockets, made air cannons and flung rubber chickens in Have a Blast and designed their own planets and grew crystals in Mission Space Maker.
Operation Keep Out featured a mix of demolition and creation. In learning about circuits, students took apart old household electronics and used the pieces to make alarm boxes that would be activated by a light sensor. Each day, the youngsters also participated in Camp Invention Games featuring team-building activities.
"The feedback was really great," said Camp Invention Director Siobhan Schneider. "The children were engaged in creative and innovative activities. They had a ton of fun while learning, and this really fit in perfectly with our elementary science program."
It was the first time Levittown has hosted Camp Invention and Schneider said it was a tremendous success. Children enjoyed the hands-on activities and the opportunity to interact with their peers from other elementary schools.
"I wanted to learn about science and do experiments," said Abbey Lane School fifth-grader Matthew Hartmann. "It was a lot of fun and I learned stuff I didn't know before."
"Every day we did something different," added Gardiners Avenue School fifth-grader Antonio Vargas. "Now, when I get into the higher grades and we're going to be doing these projects, I'll be better prepared."
Middle school and high school students from the district also served as volunteer counselors. They supported the teachers and helped bring the children to the different centers.
"I loved the fact that the kids looked up to us," said volunteer Meghan Yodice, an eighth-grader at Wisdom Lane who wants to be a teacher. "They were so excited to learn and I was happy to be a part of this."