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Camps and Events

This page includes camps and events that can introduce kids to Engineering and Computer Science, particularly those targeted to underserved communities and underrepresented demographics. It is not meant to be an exhaustive list of camps related to Engineering and Computer Science, although it includes some of our favorites, and some you may not have heard of. The target age range and the geographic region where the camp is conducted are listed for each camp. If you know of a camp you think should be listed or mentioned in the paragraph below, feel free to submit your suggestion using the button!

Ages and Locations
Camp or Event

MS Girls
Santa Cruz, CA

UCSC Girls in Engineering Girls in Engineering is a free summer camp offered annually on campus at the University of California, Santa Cruz. An application to summer camp is required. Free transportation is offered from a variety of locations.

Grades 5-12
SF Bay Area, CA

Tech Bridge Girls Techbridge started as a program within the Chabot Space and Science Center in Oakland founded with a grant by the National Science Foundation and is now a separate non-profit. It offers STEM-focused after-school programs and works with Girl Scout councils to incorporate STEM activities through their 'Girls Go Techbridge' partnership. Other Girl Scouts STEM partners can be found here.

3rd-8th Grade
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SEEK (Summer Engineering Experience for Kids) The National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE) puts on these camps at various locations across the country, such as Oakland, Detroit, Houston, DC, etc. They are free, three-week programs held at neighboorhood schools.

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For Girls in Science For Girls in Science has pulled together a list of science, technology, and engineering camps for interested girls. Not every camp in their list is exclusive to girls, but some are.

Ages 6-15
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Lego Robotics Camps A variety of organizations offer Lego robotics camps. For example, FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition in Science and Technology) offers both a Lego competition league as well as a summer camp hosted in Manchester, NH. Their camps for the higher ages offered a first look at the upcoming First Lego League (FLL) and First Tech Challenge (FTC) challenges for the year. However, there are many organizations, all over the country, that offer robotics camps, some affiliated with FIRST, some not.

Ages 14-17
New York City

All Star Code All Star Code is a New York City based organization that is dedicated to attracting and preparing young black men for careers in technology. They host workshops, a “Design a Startup in a Day” event, and are planning to offer six-week intensive summer camps focused on programming and entrepreneurial soft skills in 2014.

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Engineering Education Service Center list of camps This web site includes fairly lengthy catalogs of camps by state, including many you may not have heard of.

All Ages
US Nationwide

Lego Kids Fest Lego KidsFest is a hands-on, very popular series of events conducted across the country, with huge piles of Lego bricks, activities, themed areas, etc.
In addition to the above list, here are a few more camps we find noteworthy. In California, we like Camp Galileo, which is a highly-regarded series of summer camps oriented around the ideas of innovation, invention, and creativity. They do offer financial aid for families that need it. They also have a partner camp with the Tech Museum of Innovation. The Tech partner camps (for rising 4th-8th graders) include topics such as circuits, video game design, programming, robotics, filmmaking, etc.

There are also virtual Maker Camps on Google+ for teens put on by Make: magazine (founders of the Maker Faire event series). They seem to have fairly regular “camp” events, not just in the summer. Kids would need a Google+ profile to participate. As parents of younger kids, we confess to being uncomfortable with the idea of kids on social networking sites. However, you can participate with your kids (in which case, you could participate before they are teenagers). Or, it might be a good time to teach them about Internet safety anyways.

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According to the American Society for Engineering Education (ASEE), African-American students comprise only about 4% of the Engineering undergraduate students, and the trend is showing no signs of improvement.