Spring’s arrival invariably turns to thoughts of summer, and with those thoughts comes summer camp planning. Over the past decade, the number of technology summer camp experiences for children from preschool to high school have grown exponentially, fueled by the continued development of STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) in the schools. Discover five key areas to consider when selecting a technology summer camp experience for your children.
Evaluate Years of Experience
How many years has the camp been held? What’s the turnover rate for camp organizers and teachers? What kind of experience do the teachers have in technology-related areas? Ask for references; if possible, contact the instructors who present the activities to students. When you can, try to meet them face to face.
Research the Ratios
Too many campers and not enough instructors or instructional aides can take away from the experience for your child. Compare student-to-teacher ratios; how many instructors are available for each child to offer assistance during lessons and activities?
Photography: Lucia De Giovanni
Will your children be required to bring their own digital devices or are computers and tablets available on-site at the camp? If the camp regularly features programming exercises that pair up campers for coding workshops, for example, then the camp may only need one device per every two children.
Calculate the Costs
Registration fees for summer camp experiences can vary depending on the level and type of camp program. iD Tech Camps, for example, offer weeklong and weekend summer programs at more than 100 U.S. universities. Their programs cover computer programming, robotics engineering, film, photography, and web design. Tuition for the iD Tech Camp experiences run between $399 and $4,000.
It’s worth asking about scholarships or early registration discounts. Some programs available at your local Pennsylvania library or YMCA are either free or available at reduced costs.
Consider the Types of Challenges
What’s going to interest your kids and what’s going to overwhelm them? Think carefully about any prerequisites or education levels needed; how good is your child’s typing skills? What kind of programming is needed for that weeklong robotics engineering program?
Doing your homework now will avoid the frustrations and meltdowns of your child not being able to keep up with the pace of the camp.
What’s It All About?
Build an app, create a video game, design a website…look for a camp that offers the activities that most interest your child. Camps structured around Minecraft, for example, could involve building something inside Minecraft—more closely related to game play—or could focus more on coding.
Now that you know a bit about what to look for in a summer technology camp for children, where do you go to find them? We’ve gathered a list of useful links below to help you in your search for an enriching summer technology camp experience.
Summer Tech Camp Resources
The list below represents some of the many technology summer camp programs for children. Consult organizations and schools in your local area for summer camp offerings in your community.
- Bricks 4 Kidz
- Bucks County Community College
- Find Summer Tech Camps (Kids, Code, and Computer Science)
- iD Tech Camps (West Chester University)
- Lancaster Country Day School Summer Camps 2016
- Millersville University Technology Camps
- Penn State Berks
- SMART Girls (Pennsylvania College of Technology)
- Snapology Reading
- TechGirlz Entrepreneur Summer Camp
- Tech R3Volution