Courtesy TechSmart Kids
Summer is an ideal time for kids to explore the world outside the walls of school, including diving into the depths of science, technology, engineering and math (STEM). Thanks to an incredible number of pioneering summer camps in the greater Seattle area, kids as young as preschoolers can learn more about STEM in fun, welcoming environments.
These programs will take your kids to the stars or to the bottom of the ocean, start them on the path to computer programming, teach them how to make a movie on the family computer, and even take STEM learning outside in the sun to explore science and nature.
Little learners can get their hands on engineering and science projects even before they start elementary school, thanks to the Science Explorers camps at KidsQuest. Preschool- and school-age kids can join the science fun at KidsQuest's STEAM Camps, held at Bear Creek School in Redmond, learning all sorts of 21st century skills.
Cost: $225 per week for half-day; $425 per week for full-day (member discounts available)
Challenge Island is part STEM, part Survivor, and all fun. Campers split into tribes to complete a series of challenges. Themes this year range from Minecraft to Star Wars. Camps are offered in mulitple locations around greater Seattle and the Eastside.
Cost: Varies by host organization and length of camp-day
PSC has dozens and dozens of exciting programs planned for summer. Camps are held at nine locations, including Seattle and the Mercer Slough Environmental Education Center in Bellevue. Camp topics range from preschool science experiments to a robot workshop to spy science, one of the most popular camps at PSC.
Ages: Pre-K through Grade 8
Cost: Prices vary by age, length and theme; member discounts available.
Kid Science Labs, a new science enrichment center in Seattle's Green Lake neigborhood, offers hands-on innovation camps focused on science and design; with no tech in sight, kids get to build, experiment, invent and innovate. Current themes include "Jedis vs. Spies: A Gadget Innovation Camp," "Mixing Madness: Chemistry for Kids" and "Artists are Scientists Too."
Cost: Prices vary; check website for details.
Bricks 4 Kidz offers summer camps for LEGO enthusiasts at multiple Seattle-area locations. Camp themes range from "Jurassic Brick" to "Minecraft."
Ages: 5 and up
Cost: $210 and up
These camps, held in locations including Renton, Redmond and Kent, use LEGO to foster skills in building, robotics, remote control techniques and stop-motion animation with iPads. Themes range from Space Explorers to PokeMania Robotics.
Cost: $195/week for half-day, $390/week for full-day
These camps get kids as young as 5 started in coding with Little Coders camps. Kids build skills and uncover creativity under the guidance of instructors, progressing to levels of Game Development and Web Development. Camps meet in multiple Seattle, Tacoma and Eastside locations.
Cost: Prices start around $167 and vary by age and camp length.
These camps — in more than a dozen Seattle and Eastside-area locations — give kids a chance to train like astronauts, build robots and other gadgets, join a crime scene investigation team and more during a fun-filled week.
Ages: K through Grade 6
Cost: $359 per week
The Seattle Aquarium offers a full roster of marine science summer camps where campers investigate the ocean depths with underwater exploration tools and experiments. Camp topics for different ages range from marine mammal science to sharks and fish friends.
Ages: Grades K–8
Cost: Prices start at $230; member discounts available.
10. Museum of Flight, Aerospace Camp Experience
These camps focus on all things aviation, aerospace, and outer space. If your young flyers love engineering, they can explore topics ranging from building robots to the principles of aerodynamics and space flight.
Ages: Grades K–5
Cost: Camps start at $235, with great member discounts available!
The Digital Media Academy offers a range of camps on topics such as art and digital photography and 3D game design for younger campers, up to camps on robotics and programming to game development and filmmaking for older campers. Camps meet on the University of Washington campus and campers can attend as day campers or stay overnight (ages 12–17) on campus for an additional fee.
Cost: Prices vary by age and camp; check website for details.
12. iD Tech Camps
iD Tech camps in Seattle, Bellevue, Bothell and Tacoma give future computer science students experience on a university or independent school campus. Technology camp topics include web design, coding, Minecraft and more.
Cost: Varies; check website for details.
13. Camp Invention
Camp Invention is a nonprofit enrichment program created by the National Inventors Hall of Fame, has campers engage in team creative problem-solving using STEM concepts to tackle problems. Camp CrickoBot™ has campers caring for a solar-powered robotic cricket. Camps are held at elementary schools around the Sound.
Ages: Grades K–6
Cost: Prices vary.
14. Girls Rock Math
These camps in nin Seattle and Eastside locations have campers investigating and using math in fun and creative ways, including exercises in writing and art. Many GRM camps also get participants outdoors in the summer sunshine to find patterns, symmetry and math concepts in nature.
Ages: Grades 1–6
Cost: Prices start around $200 but vary by location.
UW offers an incredible catalog of STEM camps for summer, including camps for middle schoolers and high schoolers possibly not found anywhere else in Seattle. Tweens and teens can study a range of topics, from green energy to engineering and design.
Ages: Elementary through high school
Cost: Prices vary by age, topic and length of camp session.
These Redmond-based workshops give a wide age range of kids the chance to explore game development, animation, robotics and more. Even first graders can learn game development skills with camps investigating how video games are made.
Ages: Grades 1–12
Cost: $699 per one-week session; $1,349–$1,549 for two-week sessions; early bird and other discounts available.
TechSmartKids seeks to inspire kids to change the world through technology. Its Coding Camps cater to beginners as well as kids with intermediate or advanced skills, covering an introduction to coding up to mobile game development. Camps meet in Bellevue, Issaquah or Mercer Island.
Cost: $595 and up
TechVenture invites kids obsessed with Minecraft to learn to code with Minecraft. TechVenture Kids' other camps cover digital photography, coding with Python and making with Arduino. Camps meet in multiple locations on the Eastside.
Ages: Ages 5 and up
Cost: Pricing starts at $275
These camps focus on a creative, fun approach to coding, along with encouraging kids to develop persistence by working through hitches in their ideas. This camp also promotes coding as a great form of "brain exercise." Camps are offered in three Seattle locations and Bellevue College for morning or afternoon half-day sessions. Morning and afternoon sessions can be combined to make a full-day camp, with lunch time spent outside as weather permits.
Ages: Grades 1 through 6
Cost: $299 and up
20. Camp Tech Wise
Offered in three Seattle locations and a Bellevue location, Camp TechWise offers camps for kids ages 8-16. Campers enroll in a primary project (eg, video, music or gaming), but are able to drop in and out of secondary workshops such as programming, 3-D modeling, animation and gaming. Time for outdoor recreation and sports is also included.
Cost: $450 and up
These camps involve kids in science and design challenges centered around race car drivers and their equipment. Campers practice skills in the LeMay racing simulators and slot car track. A team race takes place on the final day of camp. Two sessions of camp meet at the LeMay museum in Tacoma.
Ages: Grades 4–9
Cost: $350; discounts available for members
22. Camp BIOmed
High schoolers can explore bioengineering and biotechnology with hands-on camps in Seattle. Topics include crime scene investigation, DIY science lab and bioinformatics.
Ages: Grades 9–12
Cost: $675 per week with early registration and other discounts available.
Part of Microsoft’s diversity initiative, this is a free program for high school girls to spend a week with technology professionals. Participants connect with Microsoft employees and participate in interactive workshops to explore future careers in technology. 2017 details coming soon; check the website for more info.
Ages: Grades 9–12
24. Girls Who Code
This immersion program in Seattle invites teen girls who are considering a future in computer programming to apply for this free, seven-week program that teaches the basics of computer science. The program encourages girls through mentorship by women working in the field.
Ages: Grades 11–12
Most parents associate Sylvan with tutoring, but did you know that they also run STEM-focused summer camps? Offered at two Seattle locations, these full-day camps (from 9 a.m.-5 p.m.) include math games, robotics fun, and writing practice. It also includes outdoor time at local parks. Middle-school kids can tackle coding and even algebra.
Ages: Different camps are offered for kids in elementary school (see flyer) and middle school (see flyer)
Cost: $350 and up