marble run, club invention

Club Invention: Getting Kids Interested in Inventing

STEM Camp Where Kids Invent

Club Invention is a day camp for kids, boys and girls, and my 7-old-son did it for one week with two friends. They do a two-week stint in Newton, with various stops in other towns in our area, mostly in New England. This is science that you don’t get in school. What exactly is Club Invention? I had no idea from what my son told me every day after school. Even from the extensive newsletters that I received daily, I still was pretty unclear about what they did. In my mind, it had something to do with legos.

The last day is parent visiting day, and finally I get it. (Thanks to my mom friend Lynn who worried I’d forget to come early!).

They have different segments every day.

Science Activities for Kids

1) Sports. They invent sports that they play. Today they played Infected Tag. They also made their own hockey sticks out of recyclables and played with it.

hockey stick, Club Invention, made of recycled materials

2) Simple Machines. They took apart an electronic and put it back together again. My bad forgetting to send in my hand mixer but apparently there were extra appliances and my son didn’t mind helping his friend Sam take apart a blender.

3) SMart. Art with math. Fractals, Tesserets, and patterns in nature. They drew triangles smaller and smaller to learn that fractals are the same shape no matter what size. My son said this was really boring. Can’t say I blame him.

4) Inventions. I think there were many segments of inventions. From his open house, he worked on a marble run with friends, and created creatures and habitats. One creature was motorized for speed. The final day was a race between the creatures that seemed really fun. There was mention of circuits — which they needed to motorize their creative. I also heard about baking soda and vinegar reactions as examples of reactions that can be harnessed into power.

My son’s habitat has an operational door that he’s quite proud of. Also, he pointed out the bubble wrap carpet so his pets would be comfy.

Club Invention creatureHis creature.

This creature my son made has a surprise that you’ll see in the video.

marble run, club inventionTeamwork. My son and two friends designed and built this marble run. He says they need to build up some ramps to get more speed though. A work in progress.

What is Club Invention? Hands on science fun for kids.


This is his motorized creature that he raced.


I think some older kids also worked on creating their own Rube Goldberg machines.

Rube Goldberg machine by Mythbusters

I found these items on Amazon that my son might like … hmmm for holiday gift?

Kit, Kid Inventor, Basic 120 Projects, Creative Electronics by Shinet Corp

Kid Inventor Basic Creative Electronics Kit – Using the materials in this kit young inventors can build over 120 projects, including a magnetic fan, a sound-activated musical doorbell, and a fingertip flashbulb. — Each project is constructed using components with snap connections that make assembly easy and secure, so there is no need for soldering. — Comes with manual. Four AA batteries required, but not included.

The Kids’ Invention Book (Kids’ Ventures) by Arlene Erlbach

Profiles eleven inventors between the ages of eight and fourteen, describes the steps involved in inventing a new product, and discusses contests, patents, lawyers, and clubs.

Snap Circuits SC-300 by Elenco Electronics Inc

Elenco Snap Circuits Green – Alternative Energy Kit by Elenco Electronics Inc

Snap Circuits FM Radio by Elenco Electronics Inc

Click on image to view any item at Amazon.

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By Mia Wenjen, PragmaticMom


  1. Dee

    I cannot tell you HOW MUCH my son would love this camp! He LOVE inventing and LOVES taking apart our cast off machines. School should be more like this!
    Dee recently posted…Playing to your StrengthsMy Profile

  2. Artchoo

    That looks so so so cool! I want to do that camp myself!
    Artchoo recently posted…My Paintings Were Influenced by Kids Before I Had KidsMy Profile

    • Hi Artchoo,
      The invention part was fun but the downside was that it wasn’t very active which is hard for little boys. When I picked him up from camp, he was very hyper. I wish there was a little more outside time. Still, I think we are doing it again next summer for a week.

  3. Ann

    Both my kids would love that camp! Great kits too!!!
    Ann recently posted…Animal TreatsMy Profile

  4. Asianmommy

    How fun–looks like the kids had a great time!
    Asianmommy recently posted…Great Spots in Philadelphia for KidsMy Profile

  5. Hi Mia Wenjen–I enjoyed reading your post on your son’s involvement in Camp Invention. Cool videos too! I’m the author of Kids Inventing! A Handbook for Kid Inventors (wiley, 2005) which features dozens of stories of kid inventors at work along with tips on many aspects of inventing. Might be a good follow-up for your son. Also, I have lots of inventing activities on my website he might like to do. Glad to read of his wonderful experience. Your site is terrific!
    Susan Casey

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