NYC kids who’ve been itching for the school year to be over so they can devote more time to their extracurricular technology passions are in luck. We've rounded up more than a dozen techie summer camps right here in the city, which all offer hands-on building, coding, 3D printing and more.
No matter what your child’s interest, age or location, you should be able to pick out the perfect camp from our list below to fuel some summertime STEM learning.
A Geek Forest student shows off the wearable electronics she created with Teknikio. Photo by Josephine Sedgwick/courtesy of Geek Forest.
Geek Forest — Williamsburg
329 Grand Street
The focus is here is on hands-on problem-solving, as well as brainstorming ways to test solutions. Older siblings can attend a STEM Summer Apprentice Camp for ages 8-12, running concurrently and making life easier for busy parents. Topics covered include a range of STEAM options from 3D printing, to cartooning, to maker’s lab, robotics, game design, engineering, and much more. Registration opens the week of February 20 and will include deep discounts for early registrants.
Launch — Multiple Manhattan locations
Code apps, program robots, or build architectural feats at this STEM summer camp. Weekly camp options might include, "I Wanna Be...A Marine Biologist!", Biorobotics: Machines Among Us, or Coding + Game Development. The day is rounded out with indoor and outdoor play (except for k-1s), math activities, and STEM games.
RoboFun — Upper West Side
2672 Broadway near 102nd Street
Even the tiniest techies can get in on the act at RoboFun, where summer camp is open to kids as young as 3, as long as they’re set to enter pre-K in the fall and are potty-trained. Little engineers up to age 5 attend for half a day during select weeks, while older campers can choose from half- or full-day programs in areas such as Scratch programming and robotics. Aftercare is available for an additional fee.
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At the Beam Center's Summer Day camp, kids listen to a discussion on electricity. Photo courtesy of the camp.
Beam Center Summer Day — Columbia Waterfront, Brooklyn
60 Sackett Street
Beam Center's Summer Day camp reminds us, "Technology isn't just computers: it includes any tools used to do work, make art, and to solve problems." To that end, at this hands-on maker space kids use tools that include wood, cardboard, fabric, or multimedia to dream up and create projects under the watchful eye of artists. For a child seeking more than a cookie-cutter tech experience, the Beam Center can open eyes to a notion of technology he or she might never have considered.
CAMP/pixel — Manhattan and Brooklyn
Kids can choose from among a number of cool tech subjects at this NYC summer camp: coding, creative design, Minecraft, drones, gaming, VR, and even a technical course in DJ mixing. Deep dive into a subject for a week, or pick multiple subjects and attend several weeks of camp. CAMP/pixel offers on and off-screen time for campers and an instructor to student ratio of 8 to 1. Bus transportation offered to the Brooklyn and Upper East Side locations. Walkers available to get kids to and from the Tribeca location.
ID Tech — Citywide
ID Tech has locations in Union Square, Washington Square, the Upper West Side, Upper East Side, Queens, Bronxville, and Garden City. It offers programs such as coding in a variety of languages, game design, robotics, web design, filmmaking, and 3D printing. ID Tech seemingly offers a camp for every age, interest, and NYC location. Parents are welcome to visit at the end of each weekly session for a demo and to hear their student’s "report card."
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Kids try out medical tech by testing out their surgical techniques at i2camp. Photo courtesy of the camp.
i2camp — Upper East Side
Marymount School, 116 East 97th Street & United Nations International School, 24-50 FDR Drive
Choose your campus and sessions focusing on one-of-a-kind topics, such as "Building an Interactive Friendly Monster," crime scene investigation, app inventor, cyber security, pixels to pictures, surgical techniques, and more. Camps are divided between Juniors (ages 9-10) and Seniors (11-13). The Early i2 lets 8 and 9 year olds get a taste of camp, but is only offered for one week at the Marymount School.
Lavner Camps — Greenwich Village
NYU, 60 Washington Square South
Lavner Camps offers a variety of specialty themes to immerse your kids in. From Elite Minecraft Skills to Java coding, app or fashion design, stuffed animal creation, and more, there's bound to be a camp to pique the interest of the pickiest camper.
Sylvan Learning Centers — Multiple locations
Sylvan has long been known for helping kids get up to speed academically, but the tutoring spot is new to the STEM game. We recently tried out its robotics class and really appreciated the hands-on learning and small-group approach. Summer camp offerings include a similar program, coding classes, and a camp with an engineering theme.
Teens learn 3D modeling at Digital Media Academy. Photo courtesy the camp.
Digital Media Academy — Greenwich Village
New York University campus
Teens at this camp aren’t just thinking about summer fun and technology. They’re thinking future job prospects, or, at least, college. Teens at the Digital Media Academy can choose to study 3D modeling and animation, virtual reality and game design, music production, filmmaking, and app development.
ESF Camps — Riverdale, the Bronx
5250 Fieldston Road
Hosted on the campus of the Riverdale Country School, this series of weekly camps mixes ages and offers a wide variety of themes for campers of all ages. Younger kids enjoy "tech adventure" classes with themes like roller coaster design, super hero tech, Lego Master Builders: Enchanted Castles and Princesses, and more. Options for older kids include robotics, video game design, web design, 3D game design, and more.
Upperline Code — Multiple locations
Teens concerned with accumulating job skills right out of high school will appreciate these Summer Immersive Sessions that introduce software engineering and iOS development with Swift. No experience is necessary. Upperline says its program can challenge even those who have attended other coding programs or taken AP Computer Science.
Search for more technology options throughout summer and the rest of the year in our Geek Guide.
This post originally published in March 2016 but has since been updated.
Top image: Robot obstacle course at Digital Media Academy. Photo courtesy of DMA.