Portland Community College was presented with the opportunity to pilot a 3-week highschool invention camp, based on the model established by Portland State University’s 4-week Invention Bootcamp.
This would be my first foray into teaching youth, but I was familiar with all the tools and associated design theory, so I was asked to direct the camp.
The objective of PCC Inventor Camp was to inspire, motivate, and educate students on fundamental inventor techniques and tools. Students were introduced to Human-Centered Design, Prototyping, and Design Evaluation concepts. Tool topics included Arduino Microcontrollers and Programming, Circuits, Sensors & Actuators, Soldering, 3D Modeling and Printing, Lasercutting, and basic hand tool use.
The camp was a success, due in large part to the amazing college mentors and creative, enthusiastic students. This experience cemented my interest in providing further STEM & Art education through project-based learning.
In three short weeks, applying what they have learned, students imagined, designed, and prototyped their very own inventions. Despite the project-focus of the course, the ultimate goal of Inventor Camp was not to produce an end-product, but to introduce students to the invention process– of taking an idea and making it a reality.