While much has been written about the detrimental effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on students’ academic skills, educators and policymakers agree that the impact on social-emotional health is highly correlated and equally important.
Miguel Cardona, U.S. secretary of education, echoed this sentiment in an interview with Margaret Brennon from CBS News’ “Face the Nation” in November 2021 at an event sponsored by the National Summer Learning Association. In his conversation with Brennan, he spoke frankly about the pandemic’s impact on students beyond academics.
“Think about the social emotional well-being of our learners,” Cardona said. “Kids missed out on being with kids and that's why it's critically important to have programs like the ones that were fostered by the folks in this room over the summer where kids were able to engage with one another on an interpersonal level for that social and emotional well-being.”
Gaining Social-Emotional Learning Strategies at Camp Invention
Like Cardona, the National Inventors Hall of Fame® (NIHF) believes in the importance of social-emotional learning (SEL). Through each of our education programs, we are proud to provide our educator partners with strategies and tools they can use to implement SEL techniques throughout the school year.
In Camp Invention®, NIHF’s K-6 STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) summer camp, for example, students are challenged to solve real-world problems by designing, building and testing their own invention prototypes. Here, teachers are able to show students that one of the main aspects of developing useful and impactful inventions is applying empathy and considering how others might use their creation.
A new Camp Invention curriculum is developed each year using lessons and stories from some of the world’s most accomplished inventors, our NIHF Inductees. The Instructors who teach the curriculum are themselves able to gain creative insights they can use during the school year.
As many Camp Invention activities are collaborative in nature, Instructors are empowered to use hands-on learning strategies that demonstrate different ways students can work together in any classroom environment. For example, in the Marble Arcade™ experience, students are able to practice self-management by managing the different emotions that come with the creative process. Additionally, they have the opportunity to develop relationship skills by collaborating with their fellow campers and sharing their ideas with each other.
In Robotic Aquatics™, participants have a chance to build their responsible decision-making abilities by responsibly spending their Aqua Points at the Aqua Shop, and self-awareness through an engaging Marine Life Game that encourages expression and self-awareness.
Learn More About the Many Benefits of Teaching at Camp Invention
To learn more about the benefits educators gain in teaching just one week of Camp Invention, we invite you to visit our website.