Camp Invention brings innovative STEM learning; Yamaha sponsors students

“Who wants Duck Chuck?!”

Students at Camp Invention, a science, technology, engineering and math camp for children, traveled to Duck Chuck, Road Rally and other inventive science experiments over the Christmas holidays. To expand their opportunities, students at Title I Ruth Hill Elementary received scholarships from Yamaha Motor Manufacturing Corporation in Newnan.

Duck Chuck was an experiment that propelled a “duck” through the air while teaching students about speed and trajectory. “That was my favorite part of camp,” student Jaxon Styles said.

Mary Thompson, REACH/gifted and advanced content teacher at Ruth Hill and one of the coordinators and coaches of this winter’s Camp Invention, said Camp Invention encourages innovation and entrepreneurship by incorporating STEM for students in Coweta from kindergarten to sixth grade. The curriculum highlights the contributions of inductees to the National Inventors Hall of Fame.

This Camp Invention session was virtual – students received science kits correlating to another day of camp. Campers would congregate via Zoom where instruction and problem-solving would take place.

“Embedded in the curriculum, in addition to learning about a variety of inventors and inventions, children are challenged to use recyclable materials in the creation of their projects,” Thompson said. “Students also learn to think outside the box, using objects for different uses.”

The camp was hosted by Ruth Hill Elementary School, but was available to students from across Coweta County.

This winter’s camp program included: Open Mic, where campers amplified their creative voices through the reverse engineering of a wireless microphone, then developed and promoted their own extraordinary invention; Duck Chuck, where campers built their own rubber duck throwing device and experimented with trajectory and speed; Road Rally, where campers designed nature-inspired vehicles that could zoom on land and had prototype elements to move through air and water; and SolarBot, where campers took care of their own solar-powered robotic cricket and created protective gear, a custom habitat and a fun cricket playground.

Griffin Hopkins “loved that I could create whatever I wanted,” he said. And he created a futuristic vehicle out of clay. It was just another day at Camp Invention, where young minds studied, modeled, and experimented with many experiential tools, such as modeling clay. Another day, Leah Wildes said the Open Mic was her favorite part because “I felt like myself when I was allowed to play with the mic and see what was built inside.”

Yamaha sponsored 10 students for this winter’s camp and donated the same amount in scholarships for last summer’s Camp Invention.

“We are extremely grateful for Yamaha’s partnership to support Camp Invention programs at Ruth Hill Elementary and help create a level playing field between underserved children and their peers!” Thompson said.

Bob Brown, vice president of finance and operations support at Yamaha, said STEM education is an important factor in fostering innovation and critical thinking among future generations of employees in industries such as Yamaha. “Experiencing at a young age understanding how science works in everyday situations helps future employees think critically about problem solving in manufacturing situations like the ones we have at Yamaha at all levels. , design, supervision or assembly,” Brown said.

Yeah, but can you throw a duck at work? “There are safety protocols in place that prohibit throwing objects onto the floor of the assembly line at Yamaha,” Brown said with a laugh.

Yamaha Motor Manufacturing Corporation of America designs and assembles WaveRunners, side-by-side ATVs and golf cars at the Newnan plant.

One of the largest private employers in Coweta County, Yamaha is currently expanding its team by hiring another 200 contract employees. Most jobs at Yamaha start as contract jobs at $18 an hour and are eligible for full hires in 30 days. Details are on