Plum to offer Camp Invention for students in summer

| Wednesday, Feb. 19, 2014, 9:01 p.m.

Kelly Haupt has worn various hats in the Plum School District over the past seven years.

Haupt is a first-grade teacher at Holiday Park Elementary School. She also is a swim coach both at the high school and the East Suburban YMCA in Plum.

Haupt of Harrison City plans to take on a new duty this summer directing the first Camp Invention in the Plum School District.

“Dr. (Guy) Rossi (assistant superintendent) sent out a survey and asked if anyone was interested,” Haupt said.

The camp is scheduled for 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. from June 23 to 27 at Pivik Elementary School on School Road.

Haupt said she decided to step forward to direct the camp for children entering first through sixth grades.

This summer will be the first time Plum hosts the enrichment program, which emphasizes science, technology, engineering and math, or STEM, disciplines and is backed by the Inventors Hall of Fame, according to the Camp Invention website.

Haupt said children will spend the week creating a personalized motor-powered vehicle and taking apart electronics to build a pinball machine.

Haupt said the camp will give children an opportunity to use the technological skills they have learned.

“Growing up in a world full of technology, some of them would like to use their 21st-century skills in a structured setting and be creative and problem solve,” Haupt said. “It is a wonderful program.”

Rossi said there is no cost to the district to host the program, which has multiple benefits.

“We are pleased to be a host site for Camp Invention,” Rossi said.

“This weeklong camp will provide students with an opportunity to engage in creative challenges. It's a hands-on, inquiry approach that will encourage participants to think like scientists.”

Haupt also views the camp as a way to keep children active intellectually and physically during the summer.

“In addition to the camp activities, there will be recess and breaks in between,” Haupt said.

Children will bring their lunches each day, Haupt said. Other materials, including T-shirts, will be provided.

Families who register their children through March 28 will receive a $25 discount on the $220 price for the camp. Haupt is hoping about 40 Plum children will attend the camp.

Rossi and Haupt also are working out the details for an essay contest with the winner getting a free week of camp.

Karen Zapf is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-856-7400 ext. 8753 or

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