The importance of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) education is becoming more and more apparent in our children's lives. Technology is everywhere, and STEM fields provide some of the most in-demand career opportunities (these careers are growing twice as fast as non-STEM ones!). But even if your kids are years away from that stage of life, STEM activities provide value and stimulation right now. They boost brain power, creative thinking, and problem solving. Plus, kids can learn to design video games, build LEGO robots, or even dissect a squid! How cool is that?
Fun and engaging summer camp programs in science and technology are plentiful in the Philadelphia area. All this is sure to make summer science anything but boring.
Visit the Mommy Poppins Camp Directory for even more great summer program options.
Bricks 4 Kidz
Designed for kids aged 5–13+, Bricks for Kids uses LEGO Bricks to build models, play games, and explore concepts such as engineering, architecture, and animated movie-making.
GSK Science in the Summer
My children have participated in this FREE camp and have loved it. Sponsored by GSK (GlaxoSmithKline) and administered by the Franklin Institute through local libraries, this program gives kids entering grades 2–6 fun, hands-on lessons in one of several STEM topics. Previous sessions were for one hour per day over four days. Information about the 2018 program is posted to their website in early April, and in past years, registration opened the first week of May, but check with your library ahead of time. Because this program is so popular, some libraries hold lotteries or first-come, first-served sign-ups.
You might not think of this as your typical STEM camp, but for children aged 8–14 Sew-Tech Camp creates an integration between fabric and technology. This unique blend of art and science is great for the kid who wants to explore their skills in a completely unexpected way.
If your children love to tinker and build, this creative inventors' camp could be for them. Kindergartners through sixth graders can register for week-long sessions being held at over a dozen schools across the Delaware Valley. Campers engage in creative problem solving, a design studio, and entrepreneurial planning to bring their products to life. Sessions generally run from 9:00am–3:30pm. Early registration discounts are available.
Digital Media Academy
Digital Media Academy has camps in 3D modeling and design, robotics and engineering, programming, and game design for kids aged 6–12 and teens aged 12–17. Full camps are available at Bryn Mawr College and the University of Pennsylvania. Overnights are also available.
Engineering for Kids
This organization offers STEM-related programs for kids aged 3–13 through schools and township recreation departments in Montgomery County, the Main Line, Central Bucks, and Centennial School Districts. Topics include: Minecraft, Lego robotics, software engineering, and more.
Game Camp Nation
With multiple locations and a focus on learning code, designing games, and doing it all while growing friendships, Game Camp Nation teaches through hands-on projects. Kids aged 7–17 can learn skills like 3D programming, eSports, Virtual Reality, game design, and leadership
iD Tech Camps
iD Tech hosts summer computer camps for kids aged 6–18 at Villanova University, West Chester University, and the University of Pennsylvania as well as an all-girls Alexa Cafe program at Bryn Mawr College. Campers can develop skills in courses such as programming, web design, robotics, and video game design. There are all-day and overnight options available.
Lavner runs a wide variety of sports, arts, and science camps at schools in the Philly area. Some of their science and technology offerings include (but definitely are not limited to): Exploration Day Camp (ages 5–8); Minecraft, Science Discovery, Programming with Scratch (ages 8–11); Programming with Java (ages 12–14); Robotics with Legos, and Game Design with Apps (ages 6–12) An overnight tech camp is also hosted at West Chester University for ages 8–14. Camp costs vary depending on the theme and scheduling options chosen. Early bird registration and sibling discounts are offered.
LocoSummer Modern Robotics and Drone Science Camps
With two locations and camp themes and sessions for kids aged 5-13+, this is a STEM-lovers dream. LocoSummer provides campers with a truly modern experience, with real-world coding, robotics, sensors, 3D design, physics, and statistics.
Many parents may already be familiar with Science Explorers' after-school programs, but they also offer week-long day camps all over the Delaware Valley. Programs are held at schools, museums, libraries and recreation departments throughout the summer. Families can choose morning, afternoon, or full-day options making topics such as marine biology, astronomy, physics, and chemistry fun to learn. Programs are grouped by ages 4–6 or 7–11. Early bird registration and discount available.
Quadrat Academy Summer Camp
Quadrat Academy provides camps based on STEAM learning, building your child's confidence and creativity. Their startup camp takes your child into the world of trial and error. Campers aged 9-16 get to create their own tech business, test products, build websites, and more.
Photo courtesy of Engineering for Kids Facebook page.
Originally published in February of 2015 and updated with current information for 2018.