Scottsdale Charros help fuel chances to spark the next great mind

A view of fun projects revolving around the principles of science Camp Invention attendees get to participate. (Submitted photo)

When Nikola Tesla took a job with Thomas Edison in 1884 in New York City he was a man with a brilliant mind but was also an immigrant from France with Serbian roots.

Mr. Tesla was very different from the affluent inventors of the time — typically those of that order would come from backgrounds flush with wealthy financiers — but despite that fact Mr. Tesla is credited with inventing alternating current to deliver the proper wattages to electric devices.

At the time Mr. Edison was working with how to mass produce and sustain a low wattage for the bulbs of light created by Joseph Swan and Humphrey Davy but could not achieve a concurrent low wattage to make the light bulb work for more than a few brief moments.

Mr. Tesla created “AC Power” that we continue to use today and solved Mr. Edison’s wattage woes — and the rest is history.

But without the opportunity afforded to Mr. Tesla By Mr. Edison alternative current technology may have never been reached and it’s that spirit of collaboration at the core of the National Inventors Hall of Fame.

Led by teachers in over 1,200 schools nationwide, Camp Invention is a week-long summer program with curriculum focused on developing creative, inventive thinking, and problem solving skills through hands-on science, technology, engineering, and mathematics content, Camp Invention officials say.

The Scottsdale Charros provided a $5,000 grant this year to provide the educational and fun opportunity to residents of Scottsdale who wouldn’t be able to participate otherwise.

For 56 years the Scottsdale Charros have been in constant pursuit of improving the lives of Scottsdale residents while preserving the community’s ties to its western heritage.

“Camp Invention is the only nationally recognized, non-profit summer enrichment program for kindergarteners through 6th graders that is inspired by the brightest thinkers around—the Inductees of the National Inventors Hall of Fame. Children are empowered to have big ideas while they take on challenges that inspire them to question, brainstorm, collaborate with teammates, and build amazing invention prototypes,” said Jen Belt, a communications professional with the National Inventors Hall of Fame, the parent entity of Camp Invention.

“The ability to create presents children with fun challenges that emphasize STEM, creative problem-solving, collaboration, and entrepreneurship through innovation. It also gives them the opportunity to dream and imagine and express themselves in ways that boost self-confidence.”

Ms. Belt says Camp Invention is meant to provide opportunities for aspiring inventors to learn and cultivate entrepreneurial skills.

“Our 2017 Camp Invention program is comprised of four different modules that teach a variety of STEM and entrepreneurial skills, from the principles of engineering to physics concepts to learning what it takes to start their own businesses,” she explained.

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Northeast Valley Managing Editor Terrance Thornton can be contacted at

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