When you think “summer camp,” you might picture canoeing on a lake, playing capture the flag, and eating s’mores by a campfire. But camp can also be about coding, building with Legos. learning how to run a business and giving back to your community. We’ve rounded up camps that promise a summer of fun for budding scientists, engineers, entrepreneurs and philanthropists. Find more Des Moines summer camps in our Summer Camp Guide.
Note: This is a working list, so check back often for new listings. If you know of a summer camp or class that you would like to have included to this guide, please email the listing information to firstname.lastname@example.org or leave a comment below.
dsm4kids does NOT host any summer camps. Please contact the specific venue or organization hosting the camp for additional information and to register.
STEM & Entrepreneurial Summer Camps in Des Moines:
Multiple Discipline Academic Camps in Des Moines
Camp Brainiac is a summer day camp that welcomes elementary school age kids in K-5. Local Des Moines mom, Andrea Hansen, and local teacher, Eden Sexton, partnered to create Camp Brainiac with a mission to avoid the dreaded “summer backslide.” Research shows that kids lose academic ground over the summer. Even the best students are several weeks behind when they start back to school. Camp Brainiac gives kids a break from the classroom but not necessarily from learning. Brainiac campers will spend their days immersed in experiential learning designed around a different theme each week.
During the summer kids can go to college…DMACC Kids College, that is. DMACC campuses offer fun, summer youth camps. With classes like Career Discovery Camp, Web and Video Game Design, Robotics, Maker Camp, STEM Camps and more, there is something to tempt kids with a variety of interests they are already excited about.
Enrollment is now open for Enrichment Therapy and Learning Center’s summer programs. Their programs are designed for students who need help with academics, speech and/or language and include Kindergarten prep, early reading and math skills, social skills, as well as a program focusing on reading for students at a 2nd-6th grade skill level. Classes are offered June 10 through August 6, 2019.
Each year, Iowa State hosts a variety of Summer Academic Camps. This website gives parents, educators, and pre-kindergarten through 12th grade students a chance to learn about the youth programs available through Iowa State University. You can also find information and contacts for the academic program you’re interested in by visiting individual department websites.
Tiger Lily STEM Summer Camp provides girls in K-12 grades with fun-filled, real world exploration that opens their eyes to the world around them. STEM Camp is an exciting and hands-on learning opportunity for girls, but boys are welcome too, with a special emphasis on the STEM curriculum areas (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Mathematics).
Science Camps in Des Moines
Camp Invention® is the only nationally recognized, nonprofit summer enrichment program for Kindergarteners through 6th graders that is inspired by the brightest thinkers around—the Inductees of the National Inventors Hall of Fame®. At Camp Invention, children are empowered to have big ideas while they take on STEM-based challenges that inspire them to question, brainstorm, collaborate with teammates and build invention prototypes. Programs are being offered in Des Moines, Urbandale, Johnston, and Pleasant Hill. Pre-registration is required.
Find more to explore with SCI Summer Camps! From chemistry to astronomy and from invention to dissection, SCI Summer Camps provide week-long experiences for students in grades Pre-K through 8th grade. Summer camps will run June through August. You can register for classes: on-line, by phone, mail or in person.
Technology Camps in Des Moines
Kids love technology, games, and having fun with friends. Parents want to give their kids the best and brightest future possible. Everyone wins at Code Ninjas. Kids learn to code through their engaging game-based curriculum that teaches teamwork, logic, math, and problem solving. They gain vital skills while having a blast. The offer fun and rewarding coding camps for kids ages 7-14.
By combining super cool, kid-friendly technology, fun-filled games and hands-on projects (such as building a robot or programming a video game), Sylvan transforms learning into a truly memorable experience. Camps are available at Sylvan Learning Centers in Johnston and Des Moines during the summer, as well as during winter and spring breaks. Sylvan also partners with local organizations to deliver programs throughout the metro.
Tech Journey, Inc. was formed to help students with limited resources pursue careers in technology. Tech Journey organizes unique summer technology camp experiences in the Des Moines area which connect youth to technology professionals and real-world technology application. Watch their website for summer 2018 camp opportunities.
YouthCode offers a number of courses at Eastview and Valley Community Centers. Classes focus on the basics of computer science and that learning to code is a fun way for students to develop creativity and boost confidence while practicing math and writing skills. Classes are offered to kids ages nine and up.
Engineering Camps in Des Moines
Bricks 4 Kidz camps are a fun way for kids ages 5-13+ to spend their summer. Using specialized LEGO® Technic pieces such as gears, axles, and electric motors, children work in pairs to construct a variety of Bricks 4 Kidz models, as well as build creations of their own during free-play periods. Experienced teachers help campers explore the world of engineering, architecture and animated movie-making. 2019 registration opens March 5th.
Engineering For Kids, summer camps are carefully structured to provide your child with the enrichment he or she needs to grow and thrive. Programs are offered in many varieties to accommodate your schedule, such as half-day camps and full-day camps.
ISEK Camps are a cool way to check out the latest technology, awesome engineering activities, and experience Iowa State’s campus, not to mention toy around with some amazing robotics. ISEK Camps are a great way to learn more about how engineers solve problems, get creative, and innovate cool solutions. Camps are offered to kids ages 6 to 11. Dates for the 2019 ISEK Summer Camps will be posted by March 15th.
Math Camps in Des Moines
DMPS offers several math classes through its Gifted and Talented Program. Programs include: Central Academy for highly gifted and talented students for 8-12 grades; enrichment summer school for K-9 gifted students; accelerated summer math classes are offered to invited fifth graders transitioning to sixth grade; and, an Outdoor Adventure Camp for middle school students. Scholarships are available for programming offered during the summer.
In the summer kids can lose two to three months’ worth of math skills. Mathnasium Learning Centers offer customized math tutoring services helping kids in grades K-12 develop math skills through homework lessons and tutorials. Classes are offered year-round.
Entrepreneurial Camps in Des Moines
Business Horizons is not your typical “summer camp.” Each summer, 75+ high school students (grades 9-12) from across the state come together on a college campus to take part in the five-day Business Horizons experience. The week is jam-packed with team-based activities and competitions with an entrepreneural twist – all designed to help campers develop their leadership skills, discover their strengths, prepare for college and a career, gain experience and so much more!
JA BizTown Summer Camp is an indoor, academic camp geared towards kids ages 10-13 that combines classroom-style teaching with hands-on activities. While the camp will focus on financial literacy, entrepreneurship and teamwork, kids will also have fun. For those who have participated in JA BizTown as a student, the JA BizTown Summer Camp is an extended version of their school experience with additional camp activities mixed in.
Youth, ages 11-17 can participate in a “Summer of Service” with CYC’s Youth Volunteer Corps. Summer camps are offered in June and July, Monday through Thursday 9:00 am to 4:00 pm. They are also offering a FREE “Afternoon of Service” from 3:00 to 7:00 pm. Scholarship and registration forms can be found on their website and service hours count toward Silver Cord.
What STEM and entrepreneurial camps are you signing your kids up for this summer? Share with us in the Comments!