PHOTO GALLERY: Camp Invention sparks creativity at Columbia Independent School

Thursday, June 23, 2011 | 6:25 p.m. CDT; updated 11:25 a.m. CDT, Friday, June 24, 2011
Parker Cohen, far left, Joe Devoy and Maxwell Rodhouse test their Rube Goldberg game with a golf ball as Justin Douty inspects an extra piece of insulation in the Thomas Edison Lab of Camp Invention at the Columbia Independent School. Campers duct taped, glued and tied recycled items such as cardboard boxes, paper bags, cups and VCR parts to create the games.

COLUMBIA — Campers are spending the week learning physics and creative problem-solving skills as they make projects out of recycled materials at Camp Invention. This week, the camp is at Columbia Independent School.  Next week, the camp moves to Mill Creek Elementary School, and a new group of campers will begin.  The Camp Invention day camps are held nationwide and are part of the nonprofit organization Invent Now.


Eight-year-old Mason Cohen, center, looks to teammates Chloe Morse, 9, and Sophie Thorpe, 9, as they prepare to construct a Rube Goldberg game during the Thomas Edison Lab at Camp Invention.
Camp Invention teacher Rachel Hanks and camper Sophie Thorpe, 9, go over plans for a Rube Goldberg game Thursday in the Thomas Edison Lab at Columbia Independent School. Groups of four campers created the Rube Goldberg games, which had three to four obstacles for golf balls to navigate through.
Tyler "Shefu" O'Neal, 9, cuts a piece of insulation while constructing a Rube Goldberg game on Thursday at Camp Invention at the Columbia Independent School. Next week, the camps moves to Mill Creek Elementary School.
Molly Angell, left, Kaylen Rush and Lauryn Davis draw on the back of recycled wrapping paper on Thursday at Camp Invention. The camp offers classes in physics and creative problem-solving.

Like what you see here? Become a member.

Show Me the Errors (What's this?)

Report corrections or additions here. Leave comments below here.

You must be logged in to participate in the Show Me the Errors contest.


Ellis Smith June 24, 2011 | 7:18 a.m.

Interesting. Judging from the photos, participants are younger than any participating in MS&T's many summer camps, where all participants are in residence (living on campus) rather than being day students. Is Camp Invention free to participants? MS&T programs are not.

(Report Comment)
Stephanie Wollenburg June 26, 2011 | 9:20 p.m.

Camp Invention is for K-5th graders and is not free. The participants pay to attend camp, however discounts are available.
Camp Invention will have it's second week in Columbia beginning July 11, 2011 at Mill Creek.

(Report Comment)
Ellis Smith June 28, 2011 | 12:02 p.m.

@ Stephanie Wollenburg:

Thanks for the information. MS&T summer campus - there are currently about a dozen - have been around for several years and participants pay to attend all of them. There exists an endowment(!) just to assist payment of tuition in hardship cases. Age groups range from middle school to high school seniors; some camps are coed and some are for girls only. All camps are resident at MS&T (no day camping, except for Rolla residents). One of the camps has previously been written up in the New York Times.

Last autumn every fifth student admitted as a freshman (any major) had attended at least one MS&T summer camp.

Campers benefit from the campus' outside swimming pool (as well as an air conditioned indoor pool) and its ability to safely and legally stage a fireworks display each week that the camps are in session. There are also weekly ice cream socials and movie nights.

(Report Comment)

Leave a comment

Speak up and join the conversation! Make sure to follow the guidelines outlined below and register with our site. You must be logged in to comment. (Our full comment policy is here.)

  • Don't use obscene, profane or vulgar language.
  • Don't use language that makes personal attacks on fellow commenters or discriminates based on race, religion, gender or ethnicity.
  • Use your real first and last name when registering on the website. It will be published with every comment. (Read why we ask for that here.)
  • Don’t solicit or promote businesses.

We are not able to monitor every comment that comes through. If you see something objectionable, please click the "Report comment" link.

You must be logged in to comment.

Forget your password?

Don't have an account? Register here.