Registration Opens for Free Spring Break STEM Camps in NYC

Kids can get a lesson in space technology at the Intrepid Sea, Air, and Space Museum's STEM Matters spring break camp. Photo courtesy of the museum
Kids can get a lesson in space technology at the Intrepid Sea, Air, and Space Museum's STEM Matters spring break camp. Photo courtesy of the museum

The NYC Department of Education's popular free STEM Matters program is back in 2023 and offers FREE week-long camps during New York City's spring break, with programming running from Monday, April 10-Friday, April 14, 2023. The deadline to apply for these hands-on programs, serving kids in kindergarten through 8th grade, is fast approaching.

Seventeen different sites are offering programs across the five boroughs, and many are hosted by New York City’s top cultural institutions, including kid hot spots like the Bronx Zoo and the Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum. The subjects are diverse but focus on the sciences.

Looking for more camp coverage for spring break or beyond? Be sure to bookmark our New York City Camp Guide and our Camp Directory where you can search for camps by type, age, and neighborhood.

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Program themes vary by age. For example, kindergarteners through second graders can apply to join a weeklong Wild Discoveries program at the Bronx Zoo, kids in third through fifth grade can become Intrepid Innovators at the Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum, and middle schoolers can attend a Bronx River Explorers program in connection with Rocking the Boat.

A description of the Prospect Park Zoo's Jr. Scientists camp for second, third, and fourth graders provides a glimpse of what the kids can expect:

"Ready for some amazing spring-break science? Come join a team of researchers in exploring the Prospect Zoo like never before! Spend a week investigating insect populations in the park, compete in bioengineering challenges, and design and conduct your own experiments with some up-close inspiration from the Zoo's wild animal ambassadors."

The camps, which run from Monday, April 10-Friday, April 14, last roughly the same hours as a school day, 9am-3pm. Parents must provide lunch and transportation, though MetroCards are available to those who need them. All applications are due Friday, February 10. Applications for elementary and middle school students require parents and students to answer short essay questions. Organizers warn they always have more applications than openings and selection is based on a lottery.

See the STEM Matters website for individual camp descriptions and to apply.

A version of this post was published previously, but it has been updated for 2023.

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