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Camp Invention participants will try to survive on alien planet, learn to ‘green up’ polluted city

February 21, 2012

Camp InventionThe nationally acclaimed Camp Invention program is coming to NIU the week from Monday, June 25, through Friday, June 29.

Created for children entering grades one through six, the exciting Camp Invention program is a weeklong adventure in creativity that immerses its participants in engaging, hands-on activities in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM), as well as history and the arts.

“We are focused on the STEM subject areas that will help the United States address a critical shortage of scientists and engineers in the global workforce of the 21st century,” said Michael J. Oister, chief operating officer for Invent Now, Inc.

“Our programs nurture creative thinking in children, providing them with open-ended opportunities to explore ideas, make mistakes and reinvent solutions.”

Each day, children rotate through five integrated modules that employ creative thinking to solve real-world challenges. Children learn vital 21st century life skills such as problem-solving and teamwork through imaginative play.

In this summer’s “CREATE” program, children will be challenged to survive harsh living conditions after crash-landing on an alien planet in the “Problem Solving on Planet ZAK” module.

Camp InventionThey will institute green city design by employing eco-friendly water filtration and safe waste disposal systems in the “Saving Sludge City” module. In the “Imagination Point: Ride Physics” module children uncover the science behind thrill rides as they build model roller coasters.

By popular demand, all Camp Invention programs include a module in which children participate in high-energy games that challenge their minds and bodies, as well as a renowned invention module, in which children upcycle pieces and parts of discarded household appliances and other donated materials to create new machines.

Since Camp Invention’s inception in 1990, the program has grown to include over 1,100 school partnerships in 49 states.

In 2010, more than 65,000 children participated nationwide. The Camp Invention program was created in partnership with the United States Patent and Trademark Office, which continues to support Invent Now’s mission to inspire creativity and inventive thinking in children of all ages.

Camp InventionThe Camp Invention program has been featured in Child, Principal and Better Homes and Gardens magazines, as well as dozens of other publications and educational journals. The program has also been the focus of National Public Radio’s Science Friday and was studied by Harvard’s Graduate School of Education.

In a recent survey, 90 percent of parents said that the Camp Invention program helped their children to enjoy science.

Every program participant receives a Camp Invention T-shirt featuring clever, new artwork.  To register a child for the program or to learn more about Invent Now programming, visit or call (800) 968-4332.

This is one of many STEM camps available from NIU. For more information on summer residential and day camps for students of all ages, visit