STEAM education (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Math) is taking off, with public schools adding STEM to their curriculum, and after-school classes and camps sprouting up throughout Westchester. Even if your child isn’t destined to become an engineer or mathematician, STEAM education is increasingly valued by educators for its ability to foster creative approaches to problem-solving and skill-building.
For those looking to expand their kids’ exposure, we've rounded up STEAM programs throughout Westchester for kids of various ages. Best of all, these enrichment classes emphasize fun, so kids needn’t worry that a class in, say, robotics or coding is just “more school.”
Looking for more ways to emphasize the A in STEAM? Check out our supplemental roundup of Westchester art classes. And stay informed about all of this and more by signing up for our newsletters.
Computer Adventures – Mount Kisco
Programming and problem-solving are the hallmarks of this center, which offers LEGO robotics, app development, 3D printing, and computer programming, among other STEM options.
Curious-on-Hudson – White Plains
Curious-on-Hudson caters to kids in elementary and middle school, with classes that are hands-on and experiential. While fall classes have not yet been announced, recent offerings have included Minecraft Star Wars, Creative Robot Factory, “What’s the Big Idea” for Young Inventors, and Coding for Beginners.
Kids can get tech-savvy with Digital Arts Experience classes in web design, YouTube video production, and more. Photo courtesy of DAE
Digital Arts Experience – Scarsdale and Mamaroneck
The DAE offers traditional classes like Minecraft animation, 3D printing, and web design, as well as novelties like arcade-game design and YouTube video production. On weekends, course offerings run six weeks, allowing for briefer commitments than some other options. These “Part 1” classes are considered prerequisites for the “Part 2” classes that follow. On weekdays, drop-in classes are offered in topics like 3D printing, Scratch coding, and designing in Photoshop. Classes, which are tailored to ages 6-18, are available year-round. A second location is set to open in Mamaroneck this fall; the details are currently being finalized.
JCC of Mid-Westchester – Scarsdale
In addition to the center’s robust offerings—everything ranging from a full-service gym and swimming pool to gymnastics and drama classes—the JCC of Mid-Westchester offers several STEAM classes for kids. In the fall of 2018, these include Discovering STEAM for grades K-1, STEAM Lab for grades 2-3, STEAM Challenge Workshop for grades 4-6, and, a new offering, Intro to Robotics/Scratch Jr, among others. Classes are generally geared toward elementary school–age kids and begin in early October, running 12 weeks.
Katonah Art Center – Mount Kisco
Yes, the Katonah Art Center is preparing to relocate to Mount Kisco, despite its name. And although the preponderance of classes are fine-arts related, as the name also suggests, you can also find STEAM classes including 3D printing, computer skills for artists, and filmmaking.
MacInspires – Larchmont
The name of this makerspace pays homage to the ability of technology to enable new skills and abilities in people. Most of the after-school class offerings are tailored to kids in the middle age bracket, including Build-a-Bot (ages 9-14), Girls Coding Club (ages 9-12), DIY Wearable Technology (ages 10-14), and Minecraft (ages 7-10). The younger set can try 2D & 3D Animation (ages 5-8), while older teens might turn into the next Bill Gates at Entrepreneurship Bootcamp (ages 11-16). A second location offers classes over the border in Greenwich.
Pelham Art Center – Pelham
STEM offerings include Scratch Coding (for ages 10-14), Stop-Motion Animation (ages 7-11), and 3D Printing and Modeling (teens). Classes run for eight or nine weeks and are generally 90 minutes to two hours per session.
RoboThink – Pleasantville
RoboThink is an itinerant offering, taking its STEM classes on the road to various local venues. The Pleasantville Recreation Center is one such host, and the good news is that that these programs are open to the public, regardless of residency (though for non-Pleasantville residents, registration is delayed by a week to allow priority enrollment for locals, and an additional $10 fee applies). Current offerings for fall 2018 are robotics and coding for grades 1-4, in which kids can build robots with modular parts and make them move using sensors, motors, and electronics.
Rye Arts Center – Rye
A not-for-profit organization founded in 1960, the Rye Arts Center offers Paper Engineering, Real-World Robotics, Architecture and Design, Stop-Motion Animation, and 3D Printing and Modeling. A new offering for 2018 is Robotics and Coding for Pre-K. A host of art classes are offered as well (putting the A in STEAM), as are classes for adults—good to know if you want to take your own class concurrent with your child’s. Classes generally run an hour and are offered in 12-week sessions.
Sylvan Learning Center – Yonkers and White Plains
Sylvan offers classes in robotics, engineering, and coding at its two locations in lower Westchester (the facility with a Bronxville mailing address is actually in Yonkers). In Robotics for Kids, hands-on projects involve LEGO and software in the creation of moveable robots, learning how pulleys, motors, and levers work. In Coding for Kids, one-hour, weekly sessions cover animation, character development, and sound design with the aim of creating video games and animated stories using Tynker technology. Classes cater to kids in grades K-8 and are limited to eight students in each.
If you’re in the market for summer STEAM classes, additional options become available seasonally, including: Destination Science, iD Tech, Center for Digital Arts, and Digital Media Academy.
We’ve also seen an uptick in FREE STEAM programs at Westchester libraries, allowing for drop-in opportunities that don’t require a multi-session commitment (and no fee!). You’ll find loads of these on our Event Calendar, which we frequently update.