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Ages 6 to 11

2024 STEM CampsSummer camp 3 kids

Discovery Center’s Summer STEM Camps are all about sparking curiosity and engaging naturally scientific minds through Hands-on explorations in nature, science, and art. Our camp encourages all children to create, explore, imagine, play, and investigate the world around them. Each week dives deep into a science theme that will captivate your camper’s imagination and fuel their inner inventor, chemist, chef, engineer, detective, or scientist.

Camp provides children with the opportunity to grow both socially and academically, supporting their mental readiness and helping them thrive as they return to school in the fall. Camp can build resilience skills that will continue to grow with our campers throughout their lives. Our experienced teachers will guide campers through indoor and outdoor activities, games, and adventures to foster valuable skills such as problem-solving, creativity, and collaboration.

Together, we’ll create, explore, imagine, and play our way to a summer full of endless possibilities!

Benefits of Discovery Center’s Summer STEM Camp:

  • NEW THIS YEAR! Camps are divided into age groups (6-8 and 9-11) to better serve children and improve the educational value of camps
  • Low staff-to-camper ratio
  • Professional staff of trained educators
  • Four hours of focused, interactive science education daily. 
    • Our camp curriculums are intentionally developed to empower campers to ask questions, play, tinker, explore, collaborate, test, experiment, goof up, and to try again.
  • Time playing on the museum floor and in the Outdoor Science Park
  • Time creating in our Makerspace each week
  • Show in our planetarium each week
  • Streamlined registration process
  • Safe, secure camper pick-up procedure

General Information:

  • Times:  Monday through Friday 9:00 am to 3:00 pm
  • Fees: $250 Members/ $290 Public (No discount for partial attendance)
  • Food: Campers bring their own snacks and lunch
  • Cancellation policy: Refunds (less 10%) are available for camps when cancelled at least 10 days in advance. No refunds for partial attendance. Discovery Center reserves the right to cancel camps; in which case, a full refund will be issued.
  • FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE AVAILABLE–call 815-963-6769 for details.
  • FAQ - click here
  • Summer Camp Policies - click here

Three ways to register:

1. Online at DiscoveryCenterMuseum.org

2. Call 815-963-6769

3. Visit our office Monday-Friday, 8:00 am to 3:30 pm. Registration CLOSES at 3:00 p.m. Monday the week before camp.

Cancellation policy: Refunds (less 10%) are available for camps when canceled at least 10 days in advance—no refunds for partial attendance. Discovery Center reserves the right to cancel camps; in which case, a full refund will be issued.

Camps for ages 6-8

June 17-21

Heroes and Villains Click to register

Wham! Kapow! Bam! Superheroes Unite! Get ready for action as you investigate your favorite heroes and villains and discover what makes them tick. How does Superman get his super strength and why is The Flash ultra fast? What is YOUR superpower?

 

July 8-12

 Science Lab Snacks Click to register  (FULL - Call office to be placed on wait list)

Use all of your senses to see, smell, hear, feel, and taste what makes food yummy in this hands-on science exploration! We will use science tools like microscopes and chemistry experiments to further our understanding as we jump into the fun world of food science! Please note: This camp is not recommended for children with food allergies/sensitivities including (but not limited to): milk, egg, tree nut, peanut, wheat, and soybeans. Please contact lydiaw@discoverycentermuseum.org with further questions.

 

July 29-August 2

Discovery Center Detectives Click to register (FULL - Call office to be placed on wait list)

Unleash your inner detective as you unravel secret codes and examine suspicious footprints. Campers will use their investigation skills to uncover clues and solve a real mystery! 

 

Camps for ages 9-11

June 24-28

Superhero Science Click to register

Avengers Assemble! Activate your spidey senses and grab your kryptonite as you step into the shoes of some of your favorite superheroes! Dig into the science behind superpowers and remember -``With Great Power Comes Great Responsibility!’’

 

July 15-19

Kitchen Chemistry Click to register

Dust off your chef hats and lab coats for this fun exploration into the chemistry of cooking! Campers will explore how chemical reactions make food tasty, why some of the world’s most popular foods are filled with mold and bacteria, and develop their cooking skills during this hands-on culinary investigation! Please note: This camp is not recommended for children with food allergies/sensitivities including (but not limited to): milk, egg, tree nut, peanut, wheat, and soybeans. Please contact lydiaw@discoverycentermuseum.org with further questions.

 

August 5-9

Crime Scene Investigators Click to register

Identify DNA, analyze evidence, lift fingerprints, and more! Learn about the human body and work together to solve a murder investigation! Please note: This camp will discuss real-life issues of crime and death. May not be suitable for more sensitive investigators.

 

Frequently Asked Questions

Why have you changed the age groups since prior years?

We want to ensure your child has the best camp experience possible – different age groups have different interests, abilities, and energy levels, so having separate camp weeks tailored to each age group allows campers to have rich STEM experiences while making friends and having fun.

 

Can I register for half-day camps?

We are only offering full-day camps this summer to better allow children to fully explore the weekly topics and to also offer a wide range of playful learning activities in the museum and outdoor science park.

 

Can I register my camper for a camp that is not in their age group?

The level of content and types of activities that will be completed in each camp are designed specifically with the listed age range in mind. Please register your camper for a camp that is in their respective age range.

 

Do you offer before or after care for campers?

We do not offer before or after care for campers – camp runs from 9 AM – 3 PM each day.

 

Why are camps the same price as last year even though they are an hour shorter than last year? 

Our transition from half-day to full-day camps allows us to add a full additional hour of educator-led STEM activities to our camp day. This adds a great deal of educational value to our camps. We believe that our 2024 prices accurately reflect this added value. 

 

How can I get into a full camp? 

We carefully determine the ideal number of campers based on our educators' teaching needs and the needs of our classroom space. Unfortunately, this means that we cannot admit students to camps that have reached full capacity. However, we may still have open camps available throughout the rest of the summer. 

 

Can I bring my child to the first day of camp and sign them up in person?

Most of our camps fill up well before the first day of camp, meaning that we do not have space for walk-ups. If you are interested in signing your child up for a camp, you can find the sign-up, as well as information about our camp sessions on our website. You can always call us if you have any additional camp-related questions.

 

What do kids do in camp? 

A normal camp day includes free play in our Discovery Park, hands-on STEM activities and projects, playtime in Discovery Center Museum, as well as special activities including planetarium shows and science demonstrations in our Science Theater.