There was no shortage of future scientists at Martinez Elementary School last week.
More than 80 campers entering first through sixth grades took part in Camp Invention, a program created by the National Inventors Hall of Fame in Akron, Ohio.
The campers invented futuristic methods of travel in "Wild Blue Y'Under," which was a favorite class. They explored engineering principles to build command communications centers in their encounters with aliens in "Tape Me to Your Leader." They investigated a make-believe crime scene in "Solve It: The Missing Inventor's Log."
The young scientists also dismantled broken household appliances and used the parts to create new inventions in the "I Can Invent/Take Apart" class.
"I think it's the best camp in the world. It rocks out," said Michael Davis, 9, a rising fourth-grader at Augusta Preparatory School.
Michael, an aspiring pilot who was turning his appliance parts into an airplane, said the camp made him use his brain.
He won the Creativity Award, which was given to the camper who showed the most teamwork, cooperation and creativity during the week.
Miranda Brown, 9, a rising fourth-grader at Martinez Elementary, used an old telephone to create "Scamps, the Trash-Eating Dog."
"It goes around, and it cleans and eats trash," she said. "And after it's done, it knows where the trash can is."
Sam Smith, a test technician supervisor at E-Z-Go, was one of several company employees who volunteered at the camp.
"I've been impressed with the creativity of these kids," he said. "Working with each other, they're achieving the same things that I do at work every day."
Paula McKnight, the camp director, said the campers made blueprints and used recyclable materials to build prototypes of their inventions.
"They are learning. They just don't realize it. It's more fun for them," she said.
The Columbia County News-Times ©2013. All Rights Reserved.