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Camp teaches problem-solving

Posted: June 27, 2012 - 3:47pm  |  Updated: July 5, 2012 - 9:32am
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(Emily Rose Bennett/Staff)  A golf ball breaks a water balloon in a Rube Goldberg machine designed by kids at Camp Invention at the University of South Carolina Aiken on Friday, June 22, 2012. The camp is designed to allow students to use problem solving and creative skills on various projects throughout the week long camp.   EMILY ROSE BENNETT/STAFF
EMILY ROSE BENNETT/STAFF
(Emily Rose Bennett/Staff) A golf ball breaks a water balloon in a Rube Goldberg machine designed by kids at Camp Invention at the University of South Carolina Aiken on Friday, June 22, 2012. The camp is designed to allow students to use problem solving and creative skills on various projects throughout the week long camp.

 

Children learned how to pop water balloons using recycled materials when they created Rube Goldberg machines last week at Camp Invention.

Participants spent Friday perfecting their machine and showing their instructor and classmates how thedevice worked to pop water balloons when hit by a golf ball.

Rube Goldberg machines are complicated devices used to do a simple task.

Colby Welsh, of Merri­wether Elementary School, and his cousin Parker Welsh, who attends Byrd Elementary, both attended Camp Invention at University of South Carolina Aiken.

Colby said he really enjoyed creating the Rube Goldberg machine the best out of other inventions, such as drawing an island to scale and searching for the island of Magnetropolis, or becoming studio crew for an Explore Technology TV channel where they designed and tested gadgets on air.

Children were provided with a box of recycled materials such as Pringle cans, egg cartons, computer parts and electronic games to use to create their machine. Machines were then created out of the recycled materials along with foam tubing, push pins and a golf ball. Designs were required to have three steps that the ball had to drop down.

Parker said they had to drop the ball into the tube, and then it would roll down the tube and hit a box at the end that had tacks that would press into the water balloon and pop it. It was a lot of steps to do a simple task, he said.

“It taught us that nothing is impossible,” Colby said.

Colby said they finished their machine on the first day, but then it fell apart the next day. He learned that sometimes things fail but not to give up. He also learned that Duct tape holds materials together better than masking tape.

The cousins said they both attend other camps during the summer, but that Camp Invention is their favorite.

Dwayne Rudd, 9, also enjoyed Camp Invention.

“It was great,” he said. “I liked going to gym. I got to play different games.”

Mason Collins, 8, who worked on a Rube Goldberg machine with Dwayne, agreed that camp was fun. “We had a lot of fun working together,” he said.

It was the seventh year that USC Aiken has hosted Camp Invention and they had 111 children participate.

To learn more about the camp, visit www.camp
invention.org.  

 

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