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Photo above courtesy of the National Aviary.
There are so many summer camps in Pittsburgh (we’ve got nearly 50 on our big list!) and many of them offer fun programs for budding scientists and tech-loving kids. Check out these options:
1. Carnegie Science Center
Carnegie Science Center offers a wide range of camps immersing kids in everything from video game science, robotics, biology and other STEM-related fun to music and more for kids ages 4-14. The BNY Mellon Fab Lab will be back this year. And Robots of the Round Table will offer a medieval twist for kids to program robot knights to joust or batter down castle walls. Camps run June 13-Aug 19. Check here for details. The Science Center offers a limited number of need-based scholarships. Email or call 412-237-3400 for details.
2. Assemble Pittsburgh
Summer camp at Assemble Pittsburgh is in-person this year and sounds great: These STEAM camps for youth entering grades 1-9 (ages 6-14) are all about hands-on learning through shared experiences. Expect lots of individual attention, with a maximum of 15 kids per class. Weekly themes this year include Miniature to Gigantic, Afrofuturism, Wings and Things, and a super-fun STEM-focused fashion class called Coding and Couture. Get details and register here. Call 412-661-6111 with questions about programming or to learn about scholarships. Garfield residents attend for free. Call 412-661-6111 to learn about scholarships.
3. Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy
Kids ages 4-14 are the focus of Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy’s summer camps at the Frick Environmental Center. Camps are geared to specific ages, so kids get the most from the experience. In Kinder Camp, for example, 4- and 5-year-olds dig for worms, plant seeds and sing songs. Fifth and sixth graders in Outdoor Expedition Camp take part in hands-on projects and skill-building activities while exploring the beautiful spaces in Frick Park. Register here.
4. The Children’s Museum
After running virtually for the past two years for COVID safety, the team at the Children’s Museum is excited to be back in person for an expanded roster of 2022 summer camps. They’ll be hosting sessions for ages 3 to 13 running from June 20-Aug. 12 at both the Children’s Museum and MuseumLab. Science and tech-focused topics will include nature, animation, game design and more. Find details and register here.
5. Jewish Community Center
JCC Day Camps organize kids ages 2-15 in three locations — Squirrel Hill, Monroeville, and the South Hills. Registration is now open for this wonderfully wide-ranging set of camps, including plenty of fun with science. Dates for their various camps and locations run from June 13 through August 19. You can find the complete brochure here and get registered here. Financial assistance is available for members, and eligible families can receive assistance with the cost of membership. Call 412-339-5398 for details.
6. National Aviary
The National Aviary is offering in-person camps this summer, bringing campers above and below the waves to learn about birds and other unique creatures who call the world’s oceans home. From seaside nesters to deep-sea dwellers, campers ages 6-8 and 9-12 will explore the ocean through guided learning sessions, interactive activities, and up-close encounters. Camps begin June 20 and end July 22. Teens ages 13-16 can opt for the Career Camp, where they can learn what it takes to pursue a future as a zookeeper, ornithologist or veterinarian. Register here.
7. Carnegie Museums of Art and Natural History
Starting in June, creative kids and nature lovers alike can attend a variety of week-long camps at Carnegie Museums of Art and Natural History. Young artists and explorers are invited to mask up and wander among real dinosaurs, make a mess, design a city for the future or become a filmmaker. Financial aid is available for eligible families. Find specific camp themes/dates and register right here.
8. Venture Outdoors
Registration is open for Venture Outdoors’ summer camps for kids in grades 3-8 taking place at North Park and on the North Shore. Outdoor enthusiasts will enjoy active recreation like kayaking, fishing, biking and geocaching. Science experiments, crafts and leadership development will help kids gain self-confidence and a greater appreciation for nature. Options include Outdoor Adventure Camp, Environmental STEM and Ultimate Outdoor Adventure. Check out the lineup and register here.
9. Mad Science
With titles like Fizz Bang Boom, Eureka!, Red Hot Robots, Yuckology and Secret Agent Lab, Mad Science summer camp sessions have us intrigued. Workshops, held at 15 area locations, are geared to kids from kindergarten through 6th grade, giving them the chance to be junior scientists for the summer. Register here for your choice of location and camp.
10. Camp Invention
Camp Invention offers an inspiring, action-packed experience for kids in grades K-6. The STEM summer program helps kids develop innovative thinking and problem-solving skills and encourages collaboration. Camps are held in schools around Pittsburgh. Find a program location and register here.
11. Steeltown Film Academy Summer Intensive
One of the coolest summer camps in Pittsburgh: Steeltown’s Film Academy is a youth education program in digital media arts and filmmaking. The Academy is open to all high schoolers, from rising 9th graders up through recent 12th-grade grads. Teaching artists and professional mentors will offer a curriculum covering all aspects of digital media production, including storytelling, camera, audio, lighting, and editing. This in-person summer program runs from June 27-July 28, four days per week (Mon-Thurs, except Mon. July 4) from 10 a.m.-3pm at WQED. Lunch will be provided each day. Register here, and contact program director Mary Ann McBride-Tackett with questions.
12. ICE-T Project
In this initiative of The Citizen Science Lab, Black youth will explore the computational and experimental techniques required to examine the physiology, biochemistry, and voltage potential of microbial fuel cells (MFC), a living battery powered by bacteria. After learning basic concepts, students will build and create a device powered by these living batteries. For information on this summer program open to all Black high schoolers, click here .
13. Startable PGH
Startable teaches students 13- to 18-years-old entrepreneurial and engineering skills through the design and commercialization of hardware products. Participants build their own businesses, keep profits from their products, and pitch for prize money at a final event. Startable will offer their 2022 program in a hybrid model: Some cohorts will meet virtually, and others in person. Program dates will depend on the cohort schedule and end on Aug. 5. Applications are available at startablepgh.org. This program is for anyone interested in entrepreneurship, technology or skill-building in related areas. Learn more here.
14. Girls Who Code
Girls Who Code summer programs teach girls and non-binary students the computer science skills they need to drive community impact and prepare for a tech career. Participants will get exposure to tech jobs, meet women in tech careers, and join a supportive sisterhood of girls in tech. The program is available as a two-week intensive immersion or a six-week self-paced program and offers a $300 needs-based stipend for eligible students. To learn about this immersion program for rising 10th-12th grade girls or current 9th-11th grade girls, get details and apply here.