The school year is winding down, but that doesn’t mean learning should stop until September. Instead of a summer camp featuring cabins and canoes, consider an experience centered around innovation. Cities across the country offer STEM summer camps for students of all ages. These educational programs bring bright minds together to explore science, technology, engineering, and math in fun, engaging ways.
Our analysts aggregated crime rate data for hundreds of U.S. cities and calculated each location’s proximity to transportation hubs, like airports and train stations. Once we had a solid list of safe, accessible cities, we went searching for impressive local STEM programs. If you’re ready to plan an unforgettable (and educational) experience for your child, we’ve got a starting point: here are 16 of our favorite STEM summer camps for 2017.
Summer Engineering Academies
June 5 – August 4, 2017
Design a robot. Code a computer game. Launch a rocket. Or apply for multiple camp sessions at the University of Alaska Anchorage and try all three. The University’s Summer Engineering Academies camp offers week-long academic programs for middle and high school students, each featuring a unique theme: coding, aerodynamics, alternative energy, and more. No matter which topic your child wants to explore, they’ll get hands-on experience working with expert instructors.
Pricing: Each five-day session costs $100. Fee waivers may be available for families with financial need.
Trailside Discovery Camp
May 30 – August 18, 2017
Anchorage’s Trailside Discovery Camp puts a personal spin on environmental education. The nature-focused summer camp offers day programs and trail explorations for multiple age levels, from preschool to age 9. Each week-long session covers a unique topic, and you’ll enjoy a discounted price when you register for multiple sessions. The goal of the program is to introduce students to ecology, geology, and environmental stewardship.
Pricing: Each one-week program costs $275.
SAC Aerospace Museum Summer Camp
June – August 2017
With flexible schedule options and all kinds of STEM topics — robotics, circuitry, aviation, and coding, just to name a few — the SAC Aerospace Museum offers a one-of-a-kind summer experience. The daily camp sessions are located at the Strategic Air Command & Aerospace Museum, a state-of-the-art facility that boasts artifacts dating back to the Cold War. This year, programs are open to kids entering grades 1-6.
Pricing: One-day camps start at $75. Three-day camps start at $200. Five-day camps start at $325. Discounted rates are available for museum members.
Canisius College Summer Science Camp
August 7 – 11, 2017
The Canisius College Summer Science Camp brings middle schoolers to university a few years early. Campers spend five days on the historic Hamlin Park campus, where they’ll get a fresh take on science with hands-on activities and games. This year’s topics include cells, aerolab, transport phenomena, energy, and forensics. (Talk about a lineup!) This action-packed experience is sure to leave campers excited about STEM, just in time for the new school year.
Pricing: The five-day program costs $240.
Buffalo Museum of Science Discovery Camp
June – September 2017
Young scientists, unite. The Buffalo Museum of Science invites curious kids aged 3-16 to participate in its summer break Discovery Camp. Each week-long session focuses on a unique theme. And with more than 40 total sessions, there are lots of STEM subjects to choose from: physics, circuitry, robotics, environmental science — you name it. At the end of each session, campers come home with a sharp set of problem-solving skills and equally awesome new friendships.
Pricing: Sessions range from $180 to $250, based on topic. Register by May 15 for an Early Bird discount.
Big Red Camp: Discover Engineering
June 5 – 10, 2017
Looking for a completely immersive STEM experience? Big Red camps bring high school students to the University of Nebraska-Lincoln for a full week of learning, exploring, and problem-solving. The Discover Engineering session covers multiple fields of engineering and challenges campers to apply newfound skills to larger global issues. During the Discover Engineering program, students will visit on-campus facilities and participate in off-campus excursions — all while learning alongside University faculty.
Pricing: Register by April 15 for the $500 Early Bird price.
Aim for the Stars Science and Math Camp
June – August 2017
The University of Nebraska – Omaha hosts series of week-long camps designed to make students stars in the STEM field. Camp sessions are open to students from grades 3-10 and cover a wide range of topics including science fiction, astronomy, zoology, and engineering. After an action-packed week of experiments, observations, and explorations, campers are sure to bring home a renewed enthusiasm for learning.
Pricing: Camp sessions start at $150 per week, but prices vary slightly by topic.
Holland Academy of Excellence
June 11 – 14, 2017
The Holland Academy of Excellence is a selective, three-day learning program for high school students who excel in math and science. The Academy challenges participants to explore the fields of engineering and technology. Topics can cover a variety of subjects, from bridge construction to visual animation. Students will stay in UNO residence halls, leveraging state-of-the-art labs and enjoying everything the vibrant campus has to offer.
Pricing: Follow the link below to learn more about program requirements, pricing details, and the application process.
Orange County, CA
Discovery Cube OC
June – August 2017
Orange County’s Discovery Cube hosts week-long day camps for multiple age groups. This summer, the Cube offers everything from introductory explorations of science to interactive flight exhibitions. If your middle schooler is interested in computer programming, there’s a camp for that too. Students in the Technology and a Raspberry Pi program will learn the foundations of coding and create their own computer game in just one week.
Pricing: Programs start at $135 per week.
June – August, 2017
FABcamp is a week-long engineering program for middle schoolers and rising high schoolers held on UCI’s campus. The program focuses on a different engineering discipline each day and offers mentorship opportunities with University faculty, industry professionals, and college students. FABcamp’s mission is simple: to inspire the next generation of innovators by encouraging youth to be creators — not just consumers — of technology.
Pricing: FABcamp sessions cost $600. Scholarships may be available for families with financial need.
CSI Summer Camp
July 11 – 14, 2017
High school students from across the country are invited to Park Point University’s annual CSI (crime scene investigation) summer camp. The four-day interactive program is held on campus, in the heart of downtown Pittsburgh. Students will learn from Park Point professors and put on their detective hats to process evidence, investigate staged crime scenes, and simulate a criminal trial. It’s the perfect opportunity to learn from leaders in the forensic science field — and get familiar with possible career paths.
Pricing: The CSI Summer Camp program costs $150.
Carnegie Science Center Summer Camp
June – August 2017
Summer camps at Carnegie Science Center offer something for everyone. This year, the center’s STEM programs span multiple learning levels from age 4 to 18. Older campers can sign up to design apps or build robots, while younger kids will learn about the solar system or conduct wacky chemistry experiments. Whichever topic your child chooses, they’re in for an educational adventure, complete with experienced teachers, new friends, and lots of fun.
Pricing: Camp costs vary based on length, age group, and materials required. A limited number of need-based scholarships are available. Plus, members get a discounted rate.
San Jose, CA
CAMP EDMO: San Jose
June 12 – July 28, 2017
At CAMP EDMO, there’s a mantra: curiosity, courage, kindness. Fostering these three traits in EDMO campers is an essential part of the program’s mission, and its STEM-themed summer offerings are no exception. EDMO welcomes K-8 students and offers camp sessions on subjects like coding, web design, and electricity. But the good news doesn’t stop there: this one-of-a-kind program isn’t limited to a single city. Check out CAMP EDMO locations a little further up the coast.
Pricing: Costs start at $419 per week but vary by program and age group. Discounts are available for siblings, referrals, and multi-week registration.
Summer Camps @ The Tech
June – August 2017
Live in the Bay Area? Have a rising 4th-8th grader at home? If you answered “yes,” take a look at The Tech. San Jose’s Tech Museum of Innovation has partnered with Galileo to offer an innovative summer STEM camp. The program lets you choose from a lineup of 18 unique classes including BioTech, 3D animation, and more. Build a summer camp schedule that matches your child’s interests — and your availability. Required materials: enthusiasm.
Pricing: Design your child’s custom week with morning, afternoon, or full day sessions. A week of half-day classes costs $329, while a week of full-day classes costs $678.
Berkeley Science, Technology and Engineering Summer Camp
June 5 – 16, 2017
Tampa’s Berkley Preparatory School offers over 100 unique summer camps and classes. For aspiring scientists, programmers, and engineers, the Science, Technology and Engineering Camp offers a robust introduction to the STEM field. During this session, incoming K-5 students will be empowered to build their own projects, with plenty of fun experiments and demonstrations along the way.
Details: The Science, Technology and Engineering program costs $305.
May – August 2017
This summer, the Florida Aquarium invites kids of all ages to see the fun side of environmental science. The aquarium’s AquaCamps program offers an incredible range of options, from on-location day sessions to overnight travel camps. While older kids kayak through mangrove tunnels or scuba dive with marine life, younger kids can explore the aquarium and learn from experienced teachers. Check out the full list of 2017 sessions online.
Details: Camp pricing depends on a variety of factors including activities, duration, and location.
A good summer camp encourages kids to build new friendships and flex their mental muscles. STEM summer camps do just that — and more. After completing a program that focuses on science, technology, engineering, and math, students come home with invaluable experience in rapidly growing industries. But, more importantly, they’ll return to school this fall knowing that with a little teamwork, persistence, and imagination, anything is possible.