Most of the electronics lay broken beyond recognition — just a mix of components. Only the remains of a fan and a toy robot could be made out. Participants at Camp Invention, first through sixth-graders, took the gears, motors and lights from broken machines and tried to craft them into something new.

The day camp held at Roseville’s Central Park Elementary School last week drew 62 students, 40 of whom attended on scholarships. It is one of 45 such camps in Minnesota and 1,500 in the country, created by the National Inventors Hall of Fame and run by local educators and student volunteers.

The idea is to give students a chance to have fun and revel in the hands-on, trial-by-error kind of science that blurs the lines between playing and learning, said Maria Le, a Central Park Elementary teacher and camp director.

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(Originally posted in the Pioneer Press (MN)).