During time away from school, students keep brains engaged at winter camp

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Most students are out for winter break, but some of the metro's smartest young minds are hard at work in the classroom. The Barstow School hosted its first Winter Camp, and the idea behind the two-day session, was ideas.

Kellye Crockett said that parents told her, "We're so glad they can go somewhere and have their brains engaged. They can be with friends and I know that they'll have fun."

Students from across the metro, aged Kindergarten to 5th grade, came together to work on critical thinking skills and brainstorming. The kids came up with everything from solar-powered ovens to anti-bullying necklaces to lava lamps, and self-watering flower pots.

Crockett described them as "so many inventions that today right now would make our world a better place. They've done more work in the last twelve hours than most teachers and parents will have done in the last month."

Crockett also said, "Our goal here was really to create a camp where kids would know that the ideas that they have, they can have those ideas become realities right now. Not sometime later, not when they're older, but today right now."

Six-year-old inventor Mira Gupta said her favorite invention was her cup holder. She pointed it out and said, "The cup holder, you can put little things inside so it mostly helps me clean my house when I need to and I can put it in my room for decoration. I love that one because it's my best one for cleaning my house."

Mira also made drew and colored a "frog aquarium." She said, "I got a pretend frog aquarium because I love frogs and my favorite color is green so I think it makes sense so I can make a pretend frog aquarium!"

The first-grader also showed off her Lego elevator, made with plastic cups, a coffee filter, and a blue marker. "I'm going to pretend there's an elevator right here that goes up and then on here is a diving board and the Lego person can dive in the pool. These are rooms and this is the main entrance."

Mira wasn't a fan of going to camp at first. She said, "When my mom signed me up, I did not want to go! And my mom told me you'll make friends and I said I don't make them, but when I actually went to camp I made new friends."

Joseph Mosley, a fourth-grader, said his invention will fix the "world's worst problem." Using a piece of cardboard and a Sharpie, Joseph made a protocol for "levitating microchip" that will prevent your phone from cracking or breaking if you drop it. His sister helped with the inspiration. Joseph said, "My sister has dropped her phone many times."

Joseph said Sprint and Apple should consider his design and that "millions of people" will be happy with his invention.

Parents got to see the kids' inventions during a tour Wednesday afternoon. Organizers said the camp was such a success, they hope to host it again during winter break next school year.