Long before the school year started, kids were on campus at Quail Run Elementary School participating in the nationally acclaimed Camp Invention enrichment program for children entering grades one through six.
Quail Run, in the Marana school district, is at 4600 W. Cortaro Farms Road.
The program immerses children in imaginative play involving science, technology, engineering and math - known as STEM.
The week of four modules, facilitated by local teachers and parent volunteers, ran July 22-26. High school and college students served as leadership interns.
Children work together to seek innovative solutions to real-world challenges and sharpen critical skills. They survive simulated harsh living conditions on an alien planet, "green up" a polluted city's infrastructure and dismantle broken machines.
Camp Invention is a private enterprise that offers the program in the summer to schools across the country. Kids who attend pay a registration fee; the schools provide the space.
For information, go to campinvention.org online.