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Zela Davis Students Attend Camp Invention

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Zela Davis students and fourth grade teachers Raquel Dickert and Rick Logue with their balloon popper invention. Photos by Steve Tabor, Associate Superintendent

Zela Davis students were able to attend Camp Invention last week. Their fees were covered by a $12,000 grant from Redondo Beach’s Northrop Grumman Education Foundation.

The Hawthorne school was chosen to receive the grant because of principal Kathy Carbajal’s and her faculty’s commitment to making Zela Davis a Stem Prep Academy (Science, technology, energy and math). Grants from Chevron and the Hawthorne Education Foundation have been used to build science and computer labs and to acquire two roving iPad carts. Raquel Dickert, Hawthorne School District teacher, was the camp director.

Zela Davis student have the opportunity to continue their science studies at Bud Carson Middle School, which is also a STEM academy, and the go on to the district’s charter high school Hawthorne Math and Science Academy.

Four of the high school academy’s students volunteered to assist Dickert and fellow teachers Richard Logue, Liz Mena and Naomi Sakata at Camp Invention.

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Camp Invention students spent the week problem solving. On Planet ZAK, where they were stuck after their rocket ship crashed, they built shelters against acid rain and then built a rocket ship to return them to earth.

In Sludge City, they cleaned up Lake Lucky by designing filtering systems from gravel, sand, funnels and felt.

At the Balloon Burst laboratory, the students designed a machine to burst balloons. They began by reverse engineering (taking apart) old appliances, which they then repurposed to burst balloons.

On Friday, the final day of the camp, the students showed off their inventions to their astonished parents.



Zela Davis students the spaceship they designed to escape from Planet ZAK.


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Zela Davis Elementary School students at their Camp Invention showcase.