Boy in a coding camp

in Coding, Parenting

STEAM Summer Camps in Southern California for Kids 3-18

Summer is a time for fun and games, but it can also be a time to learn. STEAM camps are a great way to keep your child engaged in the lessons they learn throughout the year while they play games and make new friends.

Whether you’re raising a future chemist or your child wants to be an astronaut, there’s a summer camp for you. Check out these 25 STEAM camps in Southern California that cater to kids 3 to 18.

PlanetBravo Techno-tainment Camp

The PlanetBravo Techno-tainment Camp has an 8:1 teacher-student ratio and combines indoor technology time with outside activities. Each camper gets an individualized workstation and there are daily opportunities to share what they’ve worked on. At the end of the week, parents are invited for closing ceremonies. These camps run for a week and cater to students grades 2 through 9.  

Kidspace Children’s Museum Camp

Starting in June and running through August, the Kidspace Children’s Museum is offering full-day and half-day camps on a variety of STEAM subjects. A few of this year’s camps include demolition camp, critter camp, mad scientist camp, and space odyssey camp. All camps are designed for children ages 5 to 9 and are filling up fast. If a camp you want is already booked, ask to get on the waitlist for an opening.  

Destination Science Camp

Kids ages 5 through 11 can choose from 5 different STEAM camps this summer at Destination Science. A few of this year’s programs include robotic mystery camp, journey into space movie making camp, coaster science, and mad chemistry camp. Camps run Monday through Friday from June through August. Students in seventh through 11th grade can apply to become camp leaders in training.

CodeREV Tech Camps

Students 6 through 14 can attend CodeREV Tech summer camps. These day camps are exclusively for budding programmers, future video game designers, app developers, and engineers. The teacher-student ratio averages between 5:1 and 8:1, providing your child with the guidance they need to complete their projects. These camps can be found across California, including Los Angeles, San Diego, Orange County, and San Francisco.

Four kids in an outdoor science camp

Galileo Innovation Camps for Kids

Galileo Innovation Camps for Kids are divided into two segments depending on your grade. Students in pre-K to fifth grade can attend Camp Galileo, which encourages students to tap into their imaginations to solve problems. Older Students in grades five to eight can attend the Galileo Summer Quest, which has more than 14 immersive majors and lets students solve puzzles and create themed projects. You can find these week-long day camps across Southern California and the Bay Area.

Mad Science Camp

Mad Science camps are open to students 6 through 12 years old. Students can sign up for class themes like Crazy Chemworks, Brixology (with Legos), fun with robotics, and inventors camp. These camps have been available in Los Angeles for 16 years, and they maintain a minimum 12:1 teacher-student ratio.

Zaniac Camp

At Zaniac, students grades K–8 can learn to build new gadgets and foster a love of STEAM. Located in Santa Monica, these camps run for both half days and whole days each week. Kids can play on Minecraft or with Legos and then tinker with microcontrollers or play chess. Each camp is tailored to a specific age group and skill level to keep the content challenging as students grow.

Digital Dragon Summer Camp

Also located in Santa Monica, Digital Dragon is open to students 7 to 14 and boasts an 8:1 teacher-student ratio. These camps stand out because they run all the way to September 1, and are open Monday through Friday. A few of this year’s themes include digital production, Lego robotics, e-textiles, and 2D game design.

Kids Can Code Camp

Kids Can Code offers courses all year round, but has an extended list of courses during the summer. These camps are ideal for students 8 to 16, and skill levels range from beginner to advanced. Consider signing up for a basic intro to programming or a more specific 3D printing class. These courses last a half day, and the age ranges are suggestions based on experience.

Engineering for Kids Camp

The Beach Cities Los Angeles chapter of Engineering for Kids has 12 different engineering topics to choose from for this summer’s half-day camps. Students in pre-K to eighth grade can attend an Amazing Race-themed camp or compete in the robot olympics! Camps are divided by age group for grade appropriate lessons.

Computerwisekids Camp

Computerwisekids has full-day and half-day camps to choose from for grades first through eighth. Their options include Makerspace 3D print and design camp, Python Bootcamp, and coding for drones and robotics. The teacher-student ratio is typically 10:1, and the majority of the time will be spent in the tech lab. The camp is located near Calabasas.

YPG Music Technology Songwriting Camp

If your child is trying to decide between music camp and technology camp, consider combining them into one! The Young Producers Group Music Technology Songwriting Camp is ideal for students 7 to 11 years old and runs for half days in July. Each day, students will work in groups to write and produce a piece of music in a Culver City studio. By the end of the camp session, students will have created at least two original pieces of music which will be shared online. Students will also play games to improve their music knowledge and become more tech savvy.

California Science Center Hands-On-Science Camp

The California Science Center’s Hands-On Science camps start in June and run through August. A few of the 30 camp themes this year include body biology, robotics, chemistry, food science, electric engineering and drones. The camp staff consists of science professionals who are experts in their fields and each camp lasts a week.

Santa Monica Pier Aquarium Camp

The Santa Monica Pier Aquarium offers camps for students in grades K–5, each lasting a week. Each day is themed around a different marine science topic and is filled with activities, crafts, and games. Students can engage with the 100 species of marine life in the aquarium, and the main focus is on local marine life and conservation efforts.  

Girl standing in front of the ocean

Aquarium of the Pacific Summer Camps

The Aquarium of the Pacific also offers a variety of summer camps for kids of all ages. Students three to four can attend camp with an adult to get to know the aquarium, and sea squirts, ocean adventurers, and junior biologists can attend based on their age group. Students 13–15 can also attend an overnight sleepover at the aquarium and fall asleep to the sharks and rays swimming above them. Other than the teen camp, these are all day camps, though the aquarium also has overnight options throughout the year.

Rolling Robots Summer Camp

Students 5 to 14 years old can sign up for a weeklong camp at Rolling Robots. The youngest students can sign up for Bots for Tots while older students can attend app development and arduino programming. Camps are held in Los Angeles, Glendale, West L.A., and Pasadena. They run from June to August.

NSBE’s Summer Engineering Experience for Kids (SEEK)

The National Society for Black Engineers runs the Summer Engineering Experience for Kids (SEEK) across the country. The Los Angeles camps run July 11–29 and cater to third to fifth grade students. The goal of this three-week program is to expose students to STEAM and encourage them to keep exploring and creating through high school. The cost is free, but there is a $50 registration fee per student.  

Camp Eco-Botics at de Toledo High School

Students who are entering grades 6through 10 can attend Camp Eco-Botics at de Toledo High School. This half-day camp lasts from June 13 to July 14. Students will tinker in the campus makerspace, harvest plants in the garden and participate in “Learn-by-Doing” activities surrounding the principles of engineering. The counselors fully embrace the concepts of STEAM and combine creativity with technical knowledge.

Viewpoint School Summer Programs

Since 1960, the Viewpoint School has been one of the most prestigious private schools in Southern California. It offers summer programs for students in grades K–12. Students can attend Camp Roadrunner or specialize by attending science camp or Hogwarts Americana. Older students can also take summer classes for credit.

South Central Scholars Summer Academy

You don’t have to be in elementary or middle school to attend a summer STEAM program. The South Central Scholars Summer Academy invites 120 rising high school seniors and rising college freshmen from LA County to an immersive college STEAM program at USC. Students attend more than 210 hours of instruction over six weeks to prepare them for the college experience. Since starting in 2012, 72 percent of South Central Scholars summer academy attendees have gone on to graduate in a STEAM field or are on the path to do so.

Project Scientist

Girls 4 through 12 years old can attend Project Scientist’s summer academy camp. The goal of this camp is to surround your daughter with female role models and professionals in STEAM fields. The program runs over the course of six weeks and combines a mixture of projects, games, and immersive field trips. Project Scientist has programs in Pasadena, Orange County, and Los Angeles.

Boy in an outdoor summer camp

Stratford School Summer Camps

Founded in 1999, the Stratford School offers pre-school, elementary, and middle school education levels. Its STEAM summer camps range from first through eighth grade, and include math workshops, computer science camps, and even Camp Socrates for young explorers. This school also offers test prep for high schoolers.   

Windward School Summer Camps

The Windward School is a college preparatory school founded in 1971. It offers weeklong, full-day academic camps for youth and teens. Students can take beginning, intermediate, or advanced lego robotics or tackle real-world problems related to STEAM in Windward’s CREATE camp. Students are sure to feel challenged and excited to solve the problems before them.  

Dive Into Space Astronautics Academy

Students 14 to 18 years old will enjoy the Astronautics Academy by Dive Into Space. This weeklong program lets students solve a variety of engineering challenges related to space exploration. They will also complete astronaut training exercises and team building activities. This camp also counts as a SCUBA diving instruction credit for Open Water Diver Certification.  

The Huntington Explorers Camp

The Huntington offers day camps for students 5 to 12 years old. Young students become treasure hunters and kitchen magicians while older students become space cadets and eco-rangers. These full-day programs run for three consecutive weeks from July 10 to 28. Attendees will enjoy a 4:1 or 7:1 teacher-student ratio, which means students will receive the individualized attention they need to succeed.