What does it take for a kid to become the next Thomas Edison? According to one of today’s greatest American inventors, just some string, tape, and pipe cleaners… and an environment in which to play and learn.

“Kids see a need and then go get stuff to fulfill that need,” says Steve Sasson, inventor of the digital camera. “They take advantage of the environments around them to mold their visions. And this is what inventors do. Camp [Invention] teaches kids what inventing is all about.”

Sasson is describing Camp Invention, a nationally recognized weeklong summer enrichment program for K-6 graders that promotes creativity, hands-on problem solving, and collaboration. As a program from the non-profit National Inventors Hall of Fame, Camp Invention helps children develop new skills they don’t typically get to use in the classroom in an exciting setting with no wrong answers.

Sasson, a 2011 Inductee of the National Inventors Hall of Fame, is one of many innovators who inspire the activities at Camp Invention, which explores the edges of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM).

“Camp Invention is like real-life R&D in miniature,” Sasson said. “There is a curiosity and fun aspect to inventing. You get excited about an idea, and you see kids get excited in the same way.”

Led by local educators, Camp Invention’s new 2017 Launch program encourages children to transform a distant exoplanet, blast rockets, wire circuits, and take risks as future entrepreneurs.

Learn more about Camp Invention at www.campinvention.org.