When you think "summer camp," you might picture canoeing on a lake, playing capture the flag, and eating s'mores by a campfire. But camp can also be about coding, constructing robots, and building with Legos. We've rounded up 20 New Jersey STEM camps that promise a summer of fun for budding scientists, engineers, and computer programmers. Find more New Jersey summer camps in our Camp Guide and Full Directory of Listings.
Bricks 4 Kidz – Various locations
Lego lovers ages 5 and up can explore engineering, architecture, and movie-making through building with colorful plastic bricks at Bricks 4 Kidz. Themes include robotics, amusement parks, and space adventures.
Buehler Challenger & Science Center – Paramus
Kids from preschool through high school can attend a variety of programs that delve into topics such as rocketry, robotics, and the search for life beyond our solar system.
Camp Invention encourages creative problem solving and teamwork.
Camp Invention – Various locations
This weeklong program is geared toward kids entering grades K–6. It includes projects such as "Mod My Mini Mansion," where campers create their own smart home, and "Robotic Pet Vet," where kids analyze the inner workings of a robotic dog. For more information, read our review of Camp Invention.
Challenge Island – Various locations
Challenge Island offers a variety of themes, including Wizardry, Minecraft, and American Girls and Dolls. The 2018 lineup will be available soon; check the website for info.
Club Scientific Northern Jersey – Mahwah
Every child is a scientist at Club Scientific, where kids ages 4–14 can choose from programs such as Young Chemist, Jr. Peleontologist, and Robot Inventor.
Computer Science Summer Programs with Zatna – Basking Ride and Short Hills
Formerly Pingry Hi-Tech Camps, this program prides itself on being at the cutting edge of computer science education. Kids entering grades K–12 can take courses in programming, robotics, app development, electrical engineering, game development, and entrepreneurship. Full- and half-day options are available.
Dwight-Englewood – Englewood
Passports — Wonders Around Our World! is the theme of this summer's Discoveries (ages 3–6) and Adventures (grades 1–4) programs at Dwight-Englewood School. Kids will virtually travel around the globe learning about what affects everyday life on Earth. From studying animal species in Australia to navigating natural resources in Africa, this program fosters an appreciation of our natural world. The Enrichment program (grades 5–12) offers a variety of subjects including fun with numbers, balloon-powered rocket cars, and model rocketry.
Game Camp Nation – Mahwah
Kids ages 7–17 can learn to design video games at Game Camp Nation, which offers both day and overnight options. Programs range from game design with Tynker (ages 7–10) to 3D game programming with Unity (ages 14–17).
The Gifted Child Society – Allendale
Summer Super Stars Camp STEAM is geared toward gifted children in preschool, elementary school, and middle school. Held on the Northern Highlands Regional High School campus, this camp focuses on academics in the morning and recreation in the afternoon. Half-day options are available for preschoolers.
iD Tech – Various locations
Kids ages 7–17 can learn to code, design video games, engineer robots, print 3D models, and more at iD Tech. The camps are held on college campuses throughout the state, including Seton Hall University, Princeton University, and Montclair State University.
RELATED: Free Summer Coding Camp for Teen Girls
International Ivy offers hands-on experience in robotics, engineering, video game design, and more.
International Ivy – Various locations
Kids ages 5–15 can choose from more than 60 classes in robotics, science, engineering, digital design, video game creation, math, programming, Minecraft, and more. New classes for 2018 include escape room creation, drone programming, and cyber security. Camps take place in 14 locations throughout New Jersey, including Paramus, Jersey City, and Princeton.
L3 Academy – Montclair and Glen Ridge
Geared toward kids entering grades K–9, L3 Academy summer camps offer academic learning in a fun format. Camp subjects include robotics, Minecraft, Jedi science, coding, chess, and more.
Lavner Camps – Cherry Hill, Princeton, Montclair
Lavner's specialty camps include computer programming with Python and Java; hands-on robotics with Lego Mindstorms; video game design with GameMaker; and 3D printing and modeling. Kids ages 6–14 can attend camp at one of three locations: Katz JCC in Cherry Hill, Stuart Country Day School in Princeton, and Montclair State University in Montclair.
Little Ivy Academy – Ridgewood, Montvale, Wayne, Glen Rock
Campers can build and code robots, video games, apps, and websites; invent electronic gadgets; create special-effects videos; and more. The camp is divided into two sections: Summer Explorers (for kids entering grades 1–2) and RealScience/Express Yourself (for kids entering grades 3–5 and 6–8).
Mad Science – Various locations
Kids can get an inside look at security systems, forensics, spy gadgets, and more at multiple locations throughout New Jersey. Other topics include rocketry, robotics, electricity, chemistry, space, nature, and inventing. The 2018 lineup will be available soon; check the Mad Science website for info.
Mercer County Community College Camp College – West Windsor Township
Kids can sign up for four-week sessions that include a range of subjects or sample a one-week specialty camp. In the four-week Campus Kids program (ages 7–13), campers can choose six different age-appropriate courses, with options including Jedi Academy; Kitchen Chemistry; and Build It, Move It. One-week specialty camps include Science Camp (ages 6–14) and Computer Camp (ages 7–14).
Montclair Learning Center – Montclair
MLC's STEM+ camp is geared toward children entering grades 1–5 and includes four different programs: Maker Lab, STEAM/Engineering, Code Academy, and Chess with Grand Master. There's also a teen STEM camp (for kids entering grades 6 and up) and a girls-only STEM camp (for girls in grades K–5 and grades 6+). Kids ages 3–5 can attend Little Engineers Summer Camp, whose weekly sessions have themes such as Superhero Engineering, If I Build a House, and STEM Around the World.
Play-Well TEKnologies – Various locations
This camp brings out the natural engineer in kids. Lego-inspired programs for students in grades K–8 include Intro to STEM, Minecraft Engineering, and Jedi Engineering. The classes touch on the basics of engineering, architecture, and physics in a fun, hands-on way and develop problem-solving and critical-thinking skills. Locations are available in North Wildwood, Rumson, Hanover, Summit, and Union.
Sylvan Edge Camps – Various locations
This hot STEM spot offers year-round learning in robotics, coding, Legos, engineering, and math. Special summer camps include coding, engineering, robotics, and algebra topics for kids in grades 1–9. There are 11 Sylvan Learning Centers in New Jersey. Camp offerings vary by location, so check out what's on tap at the one closest to you.
Westfield Area Y – Westfield
The Y offers a variety of STEAM-themed specialty camps for kids from age 4 to those entering grade 7. Programs include Coding with Kids, Star Wars STEM, and Bricks 4 Girlz. Full- and half-day options are available.
This post was updated February 2018.
Top photo: International Ivy. Photos courtesy of the camps.