Helena ESL students create inventions

HES English Language Learning teacher Janie Blackstone, right, assists Helena ESL students at an innovation convention summer enrichment camp the week of June 27 at Helena Intermediate School. (Reporter Photo/Keith McCoy)

HES English Language Learning teacher Janie Blackstone, right, assists Helena ESL students at an innovation convention summer enrichment camp the week of June 27 at Helena Intermediate School. (Reporter Photo/Keith McCoy)

By GRAHAM BROOKS / Staff Writer

HELENA–Dozens of ESL students ranging in age from kindergarten to third grade attended a weeklong enrichment camp that focused on using science, building and inventions.

The five-day camp titled ESL Innovation Convention featured campers spending the majority of each day building a variety of projects, building board games, learning about inventors and more.

Helena Elementary School English Language Learning teacher Janie Blackstone and Helena Intermediate School Third Grade teacher Mary Stackhouse both helped lead the camp and activities.

“Today the kids drew different inventions and then built them,” said Blackstone. “All this week we are studying about different inventors and learning how to be creative.”

Some of the creative inventions included building a flying carpet out of cardboard, cans, tape and other boxes, a flying robot, a my little pony car, a bumper car with boosters and more.

One room down, older students were creating a custom board game that involved players rolling a dice to try and make it to the finish line the fastest.

Players could make it to the finish line quicker by landing on one of the four bridges on the board to leap further down the board. Players could only cross the bridge if they correctly guessed what shape was on the game board.

The older campers looked on and supervised as the younger kids played their board game and learned about various shapes in the process.

Other days of the camp included building racecars, making musical instruments like maracas, guitars and drums and finding ways to send a message across the room without speaking.

For those interested in the summer specialty enrichment camps, multiple camps are offered throughout the summer at various schools throughout Shelby County. Fees will vary depending on the classes that are offered.

For more information and to view a full list of dates and times summer camps are offered, visit Shelbyed.k12.al.us/community/enrich.html.