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Thursday, Apr 26, 2018
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Youngsters can try their hand at inventing at Plant City summer day camp

PLANT CITY – Elementary school teacher Paul Coletti said the summer day camp he is sponsoring at Plant City’s First Baptist Church will educate as well as entertain.

Camp Invention will, as the name implies, have lots of opportunities for children to create, he said.

“It’s learning without them knowing it’s learning,” said Coletti, who teaches fourth grade math and science at Walden Lake Elementary School.

Camp Invention is a nationwide program that Coletti first became involved with 13 years ago when he taught in Gainesville. He continued to operate the Gainesville summer camp even after he moved in 2008 to Plant City, where his wife Candice grew up.

“I still commute up there (for the summer camp) but I decided to expand and add a camp in Plant City,” he said.

The Plant City camp will be held from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. June 23-27 at the church, 503 N. Palmer St. The church isn’t a sponsor but allowed Coletti to operate the camp on its campus, he said.

Campers are encouraged to bring in an old item from home that no longer works, such as a VCR or radio, he said. During the camp, they will take it apart, and rebuild something different with its parts and recycled materials such as old newspapers, paper towel rolls and plastic bottles.

“If it started as a VCR, it won’t be a VCR when they get finished, it will be something else,” he said.

The campers let their imaginations run wild, Coletti said. Previous inventions have included working robots or a pretend device that would do a student’s homework, he said.

“Sometimes what they build works and sometimes it doesn’t. The important thing is to inspire their confidence and curiosity,” he said. “It’s kind of cool to see when a kid is really turned on to science for the first time.”

The cost is $220 per camper for the week, with a $25 discount for registering by Friday. Children from kindergarten through fifth grade are invited.

For information, contact Coletti at (813) 951-6266 or [email protected] or go to www.campinvention.org

Twitter: @dnicholsonTBO

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