NORTH MANKATO, Minn. -- Educators want kids to learn as much as they can within the Camp Invention Program given at Dakota Meadows Middle School.

The program is focused on science, technology, engineering and math classes.

The program meant a lot to Dakota Meadows Middle School, which has hosted the annual event for over a decade.

Camp Invention Director Katie Rotvold said she is happy that the program allows kids to think outside the box. 
 
"They get to just explore in a risk-free environment, so they really let themselves go," said Rotvold.

"And just try out a lot of different things, and get to see their ideas come to life."
 
Every day that week, children from grades 1 through 6, participated in a themed day to spice things up. On Thursday, they dressed for " Your Future Job Day."

Mankato Area School Teachers and High School Leadership Interns came out for the week-long event, to teach the children, while keeping fun at the forefront.

Intern Jessy Lin said the children have learned so much. 
 
"They've been learning about building houses and like just working as a team," said Lin.

" And leadership also for themselves and just helping each other around."
 
Camp Invention was module-based with classes like Robotic Pet Vet. Fourth Graders Emmett Endres and Delaney Rosera said they loved the class and shared their favorite parts. 
 
"I would say because you get to learn about robotics, and you get to see the inside of a robotic puppy, and you get to design," said Endres.

Rosera said the class showed them more than just cool robots. 

"About how the robotic dog was put together, and how to apply the fur, and right now we are building dog parks." 

The Mod My Mini Mansion Module was another fun project. First Grader Freddie Wollmuth built his mini mansion with solar panels and other fun features.  
 
"The water runs through there [straw tunnel] and then it turns the LED light, and using a switch a battery, and then the solar panel," said Wollmuth. 
 
The favorite seemed to be Optibot, a self-driving robot that senses changes in light. The children created a track for their robots and watched as they completed their course. 

The Camp Invention Program began on July 16 and will end on July 20, with the kids presenting their inventions to their parents.

If you would like to sign your child up for next year's program, click on this link : http://campinvention.org/

-- KEYC News 12