There’s a great CMS summer camp called Camp Invention, which, after all the sports camps, is a welcome change.
I’m pretty excited about it when they send home directions about the Take Apart item, basically finding a broken or unusable household appliance or mechanical device to take apart.
Finally. Somebody around here who’ll be able to fix the CD player. Or get the toaster to pop all four pieces of bread, not just two. Maybe I could send in my camera, and he can figure out why only the pictures taken at a distance are in focus.
Whatever. I’m just glad somebody’s teaching our kids how to dismantle products and put them back together.
Unfortunately, turns out they’re just taking apart. Not putting back together, much less fixing the thing. They take it apart, save all their favorite pieces, then hook up with three other kids and their pieces, and, you guessed it, invent something.
As much as I’d like to listen to my Adele CD, I can see where making something out of scraps of something else comes in handy. Look at Cinderella and her ball gown. All those mice and birds pulled that dress together using the ugly step-sisters’ old sashes and beads – hauling it all up and around an old dress form, using rope as a pulley system, and a shoe as a bucket to hold all the spools of thread. Genius.
And who can forget the pivotal scene in “Apollo 13,” when the ground engineers spill duplicates of all the random contents the astronauts have in their spacecraft and announce, “We gotta find a way to make this, fit into the hole for this, using nothin’ but that. Let’s build a filter.” And that lateral thinking on Earth led to the jury-rigging of a new device in space that saved everybody’s life. I bet those guys have plenty of toast.
Not to mention “Back to the Future.” Doc used a real hodgepodge of items to get Marty McFly back to his family ties. Who would have ever thought a DeLorean, a clock tower, a bolt of lightning and a giant hook would work to create 1.21 gigawatts of power? I guess you never know until you try it.
My son made one of those chain reaction contraptions. Which makes perfect sense. Just think of the chain of events that unfolded for Cinderella, the Apollo crew and the DeLorean. Cinderella got her guy, three astronauts returned to Earth and the DeLorean time machine is now an iconic feature in American film history and pop culture.
Making it all the more astounding that I can’t toast bread. Next year I’m sending him to Camp Invention with my toaster. Not so he can figure out how to get the other two pieces to pop – but when he takes it apart, he can get out all those bread crumbs.
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