Nationally recognized STEM camp to be hosted in Pulaski County

Feb. 21—Question: what do summer fun and hard sciences have in common? Answer: Both are available in abundance at Camp Invention.

Camp Invention is a nationally recognized summer camp where children from kindergarten to sixth grade are able to work with others and find solutions for scientific conundrums.

Begun by the National Inventors Hall of Fame, the camp has never before found its way to Pulaski County. However, Natasha Craft, the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) lab teacher at Pulaski Elementary School learned about it in a seminar and was able to bring it local.

"Taking on a variety of exhilarating activities each day, children have fun collaborating with friends, thinking creatively and inventing their own solutions to real-world challenges," said Craft via a press release.

"It's to build leadership skills and think outside the box," added Brooke Cary Whitis in an interview.

Whitis will be serving as a camp parent and is very excited to bring this camp to Pulaski Countians.

"Some kids don't excel at traditional education sometimes, but they excel at STEM," said Whitis. "I think sometimes there's students that may struggle with standardized testing. Their brains are maybe more wired for using things like circuits. I think so many kids that do well in STEM start from a world of Legos. They know how to build; they know how to structure; they know how to create. So their brain kind of goes that way."

The camp will run from Monday, June 12 through Friday, June 16 from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. at Pulaski Elementary School, with Natasha Craft serving as Director.

What camp operators are most excited about is the inclusivity of the camp. It's not only open to all Pulaski students, but it's open to any student who'd like to join.

"As long as they can make the drive up here, they can attend," said Whitis.

Activities in the camp will include students designing and building their own mini skate park, exploring genetics through robotics, party planning, and launching their own pop-up business.

Whitis hopes that these activities can not only invigorate the scientific mind of children but also help with their socialization skills.

"Even just the socialization of it (matters)," said Whitis. "So many of our kids are in this generation where they're texting and they're not looking at people in the eye and they're not actively working in-person next to each other. They're kind of working on their own projects. So I think having to work together building some leadership skills and building some confidence. I think it's a win-win for all kids."

Whitis encourages people to learn more about the camp on their Facebook page, "Camp Invention — Pulaski Elementary School," or on Pulaski County Elementary School's website,