WESTPORT - Children are taking a hands-on approach to science, technology, engineering and math, or STEM.

The children are participating in a Camp Invention program at Saugatuck Elementary School in Westport. Organizers say the goal is to inspire the next generation of inventors. The children are encouraged to use their imaginations, come up with ideas and bring those ideas to fruition.

"These are kids who are going into first grade," says Phaedra Taft, of Camp Invention. "This is the youngest group, and they have the wildest imaginations. They think of something and they will find boxes and bottles and cans to put together their invention."

Inventor Leonard Flom visited campers Wednesday. Flom, of Westport, invented technology that recognizes people through the iris of their eyes. He believes programs like these are key to the next generation of inventors.

More than 100 local children participate in the camp each year.