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Summer STEM and STEAM classes for kids

Although science might not seem as appealing to your kids as, say, swimming or building sandcastles, signing them up for STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) and STEAM (STEM plus art) classes this summer will help staunch summer learning loss and could yield lifelong benefits. According to the National Math and Science Initiative, only about one third of fourth and eighth grade American students are proficient in science and mathematics. These STEM and STEAM classes will make the grade with your kids and their teachers. Pro tip: Find more brain-boosting summer programs in our camp directory at dfwchild.com/camps.

Club SciKidz
With camps in the categories of extreme science, filmmaking, engineering and video game design, Club SciKidz keeps children ages 4–15 learning through hands-on projects, experiments and programming challenges. Travel through space with astronomy-themed Cosmos; delve into bone, blood and guts at Grossology; or get a taste of veterinary medicine at Emergency Vet camp. Full-day camps are $255 per week plus lab fees; 4- and 5-year-olds have a half-day option for $199 per week.
Club SciKidz
Addison, Dallas and Frisco, 214/530-5979
clubscikidzdallas.com
 
Destination Science
Get creative, STEM-style, during Destination Science’s weeklong, full-day camps for kids ages 5–11. Campers program robots, launch rockets, delve into the science of carnival rides, discover the real-world tech behind superhero gadgets and become best buds with Newton’s Laws of Motion and other scientific concepts at four themed camps: Space Quest, Robot Challenge, Roller Coaster and Super Hero Physics. Each camp is $299.
Destination Science
Colleyville, Coppell, Keller and Fort Worth, 888/909-2822
destinationscience.org 

Mad Science
Mad Science is running a host of camps at local schools and community centers to engage children ages 6–12 in scientific exploration, from building and launching a model rocket to using crime scene forensics to solve a mystery. Older kiddos, ages 10–12, design practical machines during Advanced Robotics camp at the Coppell location. All camps are half-day and start at $165, plus a materials fee for some camps.
Mad Science
Coppell and Flower Mound, 972/241-0475
dallas.madscience.org

Engineering for Kids
Engineering for Kids’ themed STEM camps for students in pre-K through eighth grades lets campers become forensic investigators, construct a pirate ship or spaceship and build tools that will help save the world. Weeklong camps are $189 (Frisco) and $199 (Plano).
Legacy Christian Academy, Frisco, and SMU-in-Plano, 214/282-5298 engineeringforkids.com/location/greaterdallas

Bricks 4 Kidz
Your kids think they’re playing with Legos at Bricks 4 Kidz summer programs; you know they’re boosting their STEM acumen. Choose from a variety of half-day camps for ages 5 and up, such as the Galaxy Far Away and Space Adventures camps, where kids learn science and engineering lessons using Star Wars Lego models. Or Amazing Amusement Park, where campers in grades four through six create a mini amusement park. Prices and age requirements vary per camp. Camp availability varies by location.
Bricks 4 Kidz
Coppell, 469/248-7245
Denton, 817/559-7804
bricks4kidz.com

Zaniac
This bright and bold Southlake franchise promises to keep math and technology on the menu for summer. Skilled instructors guide children in kindergarten through eighth grade to learn math and science concepts (life sciences, physics and mechanics) through things your kids love, such as video games and movies — the stuff that’s usually saved for after homework. Mix and match a number of themed half-day programs including 3D Game Design, Robotics: LEGO, 3D Printing and Game-Based Learning: Minecraft. $425 for one weeklong, half-day program, or $680 for a full-day week.
Zaniac
Southlake, 817/442-4900
zaniaclearning.com/southlake
 
Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Garden
The Dallas Arboretum boasts a STEM program designed for children ages 3 to 10th grade. Experienced teachers lead the littlest campers to discover a new animal each day, while ages 4 through kindergarten choose from half-day camps on bugs, animals or space. First through fourth graders have options, from hands-on science experiments to flight exploration or insect investigations. And middle and high schoolers explore science and technology through adventure camps that send them hiking, kayaking and more. Prices start at $165 per week for nonmembers.  
Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Garden
Dallas, 214/515-6615
dallasarboretum.org
 
Fort Worth Museum of Science and History
The Fort Worth Museum of Science and History is fighting summer brain drain with a packed schedule of science and tech programs. Museum school classes for grades K–4 run Monday through Thursday, with half- and full-day options — sign up for Beetles to Butterflies, Space Troopers or Chemistry Mysteries, to name a few. Older campers (fourth through sixth grade) choose from two-day, full-day classes like Design Crew 2, an engineering class, and Motor Madness, where students learn about circuits, switches, battery-powered motors and LEDs, in order to create their own machines. Cost varies per class.
Fort Worth Museum of Science and History
Fort Worth, 817/255-9333
fwmuseum.org

Pigment School of the Arts
Pigment School of the Arts incorporates many science and math concepts into its curriculum. This is especially true of their weeklong, half-day Think, Design, STEAM camp for ages 6–14, where instructors emphasize symmetry, balance and form as campers tackle projects like constructing small chairs or producing geometric tessellations. Cost is $225.
Pigment School of the Arts
Dallas, 214/352-2787
pigmentarts.com
 
Van Grow: Art Studio for Kids
During Van Grow’s weeklong summer camps for ages 4 and up, kids mesh STEM concepts with art for a true STEAM experience, from Unusual Architecture (kids design and create their own one-of-a-kind structure) to Animation Week and Space Week. Some camps, including Animation Week, are offered in two levels: Attend Week 1 only, or return for Week 2 to build on concepts and learn new techniques. Age requirements vary by camp. $225 for half-day camps and $450 for full-day.
Van Grow: Art Studio for Kids
Fort Worth, 817/348-0505
vangrowstudio.com

Art House
Life sciences and visual arts meet during the Art House’s STEAM-steeped summer camps. Themed programs at the Flower Mound studio include Colorful Rain Forest Art, An Ocean of Art, and A Galaxy Far, Far Away, all geared to ages 5–12 (and broken into age groups), allow kids to create works to take home and display. Sign up for the whole week of half-day classes, or view every project online and order à la carte. Camps are $45 per day or $199 for the week.
Art House
Flower Mound, 972/899-2699
studioarthouse.com 

Elm Fork Explorer’s Camp
With fun titles like Circle of Life, Chem2Kids and It’s Snot Camp, kids won’t even know they’re learning myriad math and science concepts at the Explorer’s Camps, through the University of North Texas. Spaces for second through eighth graders are filling up fast for half-day, weeklong camps with hands-on activities and projects, such as making bouncing balls and launching a rocket. Prices start at $100 per week.
Elm Fork Education Center
Denton, 940/565-4912
efec.unt.edu/summer-camp-preview-2016

Perot Museum of Nature and Science
The Perot Museum of Nature and Science has STEM options to keep kindergarten–sixth graders focused on different science themes — think life sciences, chemistry, astronomy, paleontology, marine biology and more — during weeklong Discovery Camps. The museum also offers Discovery Camp Jr., half-day classes in which 3- and 4-year-olds explore the ocean, space, dinosaurs and other mysteries of the natural world. Camps are filling up quickly, so sign up soon. Prices vary per camp; members receive a discount.
Perot Museum of Nature and Science, Dallas, and The Hockaday School, Dallas, 214/428-5555
perotmuseum.org
 
idTech Camp
IdTech hosts weeklong technology programs for boys and girls ages 7–17 at Southern Methodist University and the University of Texas at Dallas. They promise a well-rounded camp experience, while also giving campers hands-on learning challenges. Choose from full-day or overnight themes including Adventures in Minecraft Game Design, Mobile Game Design for iPhone & Android, and Intro to Programming with JavaScript. Prices start at $799 for day camps and $1,368 for overnight; register soon, as camps are filling up quickly.
SMU, Dallas, and UTD, Richardson, 888/709-8324
idtech.com
TCU, Fort Worth, 888/709-8324
idtech.com

Summer Adventure STEM Camp
Boys and girls ages 5–15 spend five full days tinkering with robots, coding, creating animations, experimenting with chemistry and doing art projects, among other age-appropriate STEM pursuits. But campers won’t be locked in a lab all day — climbing, archery and a daily swim session will keep their bodies working as hard as their brains. $250 per week (Longhorn Council members receive a $20 discount); dates are determined by age.
Longhorn Activity Center
Fort Worth, 817/231-8500
longhorncouncil.org
 
Camp Invention
This all-day, five-day camp organized by the National Inventors Hall of Fame puts classes like CrickoBot and The Lab: Where Pigs Fly on campers in first through sixth grades’ schedules. Each day includes four classes (called “modules”) with breaks and lunch in between. This year’s curriculum includes activities like designing eco-friendly adventure parks, building solar-powered robotic crickets, making slime, and repurposing broken machines to create prototypes for new inventions. Prices start at $220 depending on location; visit campinvention.org to find the nearest camp.
Multiple locations, 800/968-4332
campinvention.org