5 Free Summer STEM Learning Opportunities for All Ages

While schools send home summer packets designed to provide practice with math, reading, and other skills, interactive learning can be so much more fun. In addition to the paper and pencil work in packets, give your children the opportunity to stretch their thinking through interactive camps. The five camps below are all free and target a variety of ages to foster creative thinking around STEM topics like DIY projects, movie making, digital art, video game design, and many other fun topics.

Wonderopolis— If you feel like you could be doing more to foster your kids’ learning, Wonderopolis helps parents fit learning into everyday moments. With an anytime, anywhere philosophy the site powered by the National Center for Family Literacy provides a Wonder of the Day, a question designed for families to explore in a variety of different ways. In addition to exploring the Wonder of the Day, kids can participate in Camp What-A-Wonder. The week-long camp begins each Monday and ends on Friday and features a new theme each week. The last camp session ends on July 26.

Maker Camp on Google+— Teens are invited to participate in the free online Maker Camp on Google+ to create DIY projects using household materials. Each day there’s a different project that corresponds with the week’s theme. Kids get support through a daily Google Hangout where they can access tips from expert counselors and share their creations. They also have the opportunity to take a virtual Epic Field Trip every Friday. Themed weeks begin each Monday but teens can participate as often as they like on whatever days they’re free.

Apple Camp— Young Spielbergs can practice their movie-making skills at free workshops offered through your local Apple Store. Apple Camp is designed for ages 8-12 who want to make their own movies through hands on instruction with Apple Geniuses who serve as instructors and acquaint kids with iMovie. In 1 ½ hour sessions occurring over 3 days, kids learn to import, edit, add effects, and more to create a final short film that is viewed by parents at the third session. Parents must be in-store with their child during Apple Camp and families have to provide their own device to capture video but this could be an iPod Touch, iPhone, iPad, or HD video camera.

YouthSpark Summer Camps with Microsoft— This summer kids ages 8-13 are invited to participate in free camps at Microsoft Stores around the country and in Canada. The hands-on sessions include digital movie making, storyteller studio, digital art smarts, game masters, and game app. While the times vary according to location, local stores seem to be offering classes for 2 hours a day, Monday through Friday.

Common Sense Media Digital Fun for Creative Kids— Common Sense Media asks what’s your kid’s favorite way to be creative and provides an age appropriate list of apps and websites for crafting and creating art, storytelling, coding, creating media, and building for kids ages 2-6, 7-12, and 13-17.

Image courtesy of Maker Media

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  1. by Weekly Reads 7.14.13 | Tech Savvy Mama

    On July 14, 2013 at 9:37 pm

    [...] 5 Free Summer STEM Learning Opportunities for All Ages [...]