Can you think of a better way to celebrate Girls in Aviation Day than with an awesome trip to Kennedy Space Center in Florida? That’s exactly how Adrienne Prater celebrated as she soaked up some STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) knowledge!
A Camp Invention® camper turned Leader-in-Training (LIT), Adrienne is a seventh grader from Georgia with big dreams of becoming an intellectual property attorney. Discover Adrienne’s story, including her experiences at camp and the Kennedy Space Center, as she shares part of her journey in STEM and innovation.
Becoming a Leader at Camp Invention
Adrienne was a rising second grader when she first attended our K-6 summer camp. “I’ve always been interested in STEM, but I think my interest really started to [increase] when I went to Camp Invention,” she said.
Camp Invention provides an environment for children in which they can explore creative problem solving, engage in design thinking and develop persistence. Adrienne had such an impactful experience that she remained a camper until last year — when she was old enough to start her LIT experience! Her time as a camper inspired Adrienne to step up into this leadership program for kids in grades 7-9, where she could use what she had learned to empower younger children.
“LITs are the people that inspire the campers to do more. I remember a lot of LITs that inspired me to do more and to create things in my modules [camp experiences],” explained Adrienne. “I wanted to be that kind of person for the campers to come to […] I wanted to inspire them to hopefully go into STEM one day, which is something that I want to do personally.”
After taking on her first year as an LIT, she reflected on the experience fondly and plans to return to the program this summer. While her favorite part was helping campers take pride in their innovations and see the value of their ideas, she also enjoyed expanding on her STEM knowledge, making new friends and building powerful leadership skills. “It's a great way to practice leadership skills, and it's something that prepares you for life too,” she explained.
Adrienne recommends the LIT program to other kids, too. When asked about the most appealing parts of the program, Adrienne mentioned “being able to see these little kids with inventions and ideas that could possibly change the world, and know that you had an effect on that.” Campers’ faces would light up when they had completed a challenge, providing reassurance that they were building confidence in their abilities. “Seeing the satisfaction on the kids' faces when you help them with an invention — I think that's enough to convince anyone to try at least,” explained Adrienne.
Pursuing Innovative Dreams
By fostering original thinking, giving kids the opportunity to bring ideas from their minds to their hands and out into the world, Camp Invention sparks a lasting interest in STEM and innovation. The program shows kids like Adrienne what is possible and paves the way for their future.
“At Camp Invention, you’re patenting something or you’re putting a stamp on your idea in some way,” explained Adrienne. She enjoyed this aspect of camp so much that she began researching careers where she could take an active role in the patent process. “I want to be an intellectual property attorney,” she said. “That’s the kind of person who takes your idea and patents it so that you can claim your invention.”
This has become an exciting career prospect for Adrienne because it combines her interest in both law and the patent system. “You get to help people that have really great inventions that could change the world,” she said. “You get to help them have ownership and security over their ideas.” When inventors receive this protection and recognition, it incentivizes others to continue inventing.
To encourage students’ interest in STEM careers, Adrienne’s school invited her and several of her classmates to join Delta Air Lines’ annual “Women Inspiring our Next Generation” (WING) Flight to celebrate Girls in Aviation Day in a very special way – by flying to the Kennedy Space Center to learn about careers for women in STEM!
This curious group of students saw Artemis on the launch pad, the Saturn V rocket and more examples of ingenuity in space exploration. While exploring major feats of engineering, the group also learned how space exploration is made possible, including the various careers that make up NASA.
“There was a seminar where we got to learn a lot about the different career paths in NASA,” said Adrienne. “It's not just rocket scientists.” She learned of engineers, social media experts and many more roles that all work together to progress the field.
“I learned a lot about career paths, because previously I did think ‘Oh, you have to be a rocket scientist to go to NASA,’ but I learned that there are a lot more avenues and paths, especially for intellectual property attorneys,” said Adrienne. From components that make up rockets to our favorite everyday products, intellectual property protects a wide variety of world-changing ideas and inventions that span across fields!
Through her innovative journey, it’s clear Adrienne will seize additional opportunities to achieve her dream of becoming an intellectual property attorney, and we can’t wait to see what she accomplishes next!
Do You Have a Camp Invention Story?
If your child has attended Camp Invention, do they have a story to share? We would love to hear from you, and we invite you to fill out this form on our website. To learn more about this summer’s brand-new Camp Invention program, visit our website!