Camps to code instead of canoe? Teacher Nina Canul and young campers are seen "Exploring Properties of Polymers" at Destination Science Camp. At left is a human hamster wheel-powered boat built by campers (AP photos)
Camps to code instead of canoe?
Lexile

It's not too early to be thinking about attending a summer camp. But what is right for you?

For some young people, a dream camp involves more coding than canoeing. It's offers more technology than tennis. And even more science than swimming.

These are STEM summer camps. They are popular and plentiful.

The camps include private half-day camps for younger children. There's also longer sleep-away camps for teenagers. The camps cater to kids who love STEM subjects. Those are science, technology, engineering and math.

"We're definitely seeing a lot more summer programs that focus on science, technology, engineering and math. And also programs that combined those elements with art," said Kathy Heraghty. She is the program director and founder of Destination Science. It is based in Orange, California. The group began in California in 2000. it runs summer camps for children ages 5 to 11. Now, the camps are located in five states.

STEM-oriented summer camps often include swimming and crafts. But the focus is on the fun of "thinking like a scientist."

"We focus on things that are playful and fun. Like building a really cool car with a solar cell," Heraghty said.

Destination Science is introducing a Super Heroes camp this summer. It will take a closer look at bats and spiders and things like warp speed. "And robotics and robots are also always exciting to kids," said Heraghty.

The camps cost $379 per week for full day camp. Discounts are available to those who register early. Some scholarships are available.

For older kids looking for a sleep-away experience, options include BEAM Camp. It is in Stafford, New Hampshire. It offers three-and-a-half-week camps for kids ages 10 to 17.

In addition to building and problem-solving, campers swim daily. They also spend time with chefs, artists, architects and engineers. That helps broaden their ideas about creative career options. The camps are open to boys and girls. They are expensive ($5,200). But Cohen said about 40 percent of campers receive partial or full scholarships.

Emagination is a much larger summer camp. It focuses on coding, game design and other computer skills. There are day camp and sleep-away options for kids ages 8 to 17. It operates in five major cities. Camps range in price from $845 per week for day camp to almost $3,000 for some two-week programs. Some scholarships are available.

Critical thinking challenge: Why do STEM-oriented summer camps often include swimming?

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COMMENTS (44)
  • matthewn-Wre
    2/17/2015 - 01:09 p.m.

    I think the picture is cool because the top and the inside.

  • ANGRYMIDGET017
    2/20/2015 - 09:53 a.m.

    Because everybody should learn to swim and practice getting better at it

  • 20ethan18
    2/20/2015 - 09:55 a.m.

    So that the kids who are attending the camp can get some sort of exercise.

  • Tylerrrm
    2/20/2015 - 09:56 a.m.

    They want to focus on fun and entertaining things for the kids.

  • Kameryn3333
    2/20/2015 - 09:58 a.m.

    They add swimming to the camps because it is fun for the kids and a good way to be active.

  • kims18
    2/20/2015 - 10:03 a.m.

    STEM summer camps include swimming because its fun. Since the kids are learning most of the day, they can have a break and have a little fun with their friends. swimming is also a good skill to know how to do and its a good activity to do in the summer heat.

  • GrahamR
    2/20/2015 - 10:05 a.m.

    There are many options for new styled summer camps. Instead of being about learning about nature, new camps focus on things like coding, game design, and science. Some examples of these would be STEM, Emagination, and BEAM. Some of these camps can be very expensive. Some cost up to $5200. Although you can get a scholarship to a camp.

  • lexleigh2018
    2/20/2015 - 10:13 a.m.

    STEM-oriented summer camps often include swimming because it is a fun way to relax and just have fun. It could help you get your mind off things.

  • Cassierusso10
    2/20/2015 - 10:15 a.m.

    STEM- oriented summer camps often include swimming and crafts so the kids/ teenagers are popular and are plentiful and get to have a lot of fun.

  • Mikenator
    2/20/2015 - 10:18 a.m.

    It gives them a fun way to exercise, and broadens there creative ideas

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