Discovery Center Summer STEM camps are designed for youth ages 7-12 (students entering grades 2-6), and include science investigations, art activities, outdoor time, and active play.
Your child’s health, and the health of our staff, is of the utmost importance. Our team has made modifications to our building, exhibits and summer camp practices in accordance with public health guidelines and industry best practices. In particular, we will follow Restore Illinois COVID-19 2021 Day Camp guidelines. Protocols may be updated based on guidance from local, state and CDC guidelines.
Learn more about our Discovery Center COVID-19 Protocols here.
Minimum: 6 Participants/Session
Maximum: 10 Participants/Session (may increase as mitigations change)
Each session is held Monday through Friday.
All-Day session times: 9:00 a.m.-4:00 pm (includes supervised lunch and playtime) (Dropoff window is 8:45 -9:00. Pickup window is 4:00-4:15 pm)
½-Day Morning session times: 9:00 am-Noon. (Dropoff window is 8:45 -9:00. Pickup window is 12:00-12:15 pm)
½-Day Afternoon session times: 1:00 am-4:00 p, (Dropoff window is 12:45 -1:00. Pickup window is 4:00-4:15 pm)
½ Day Campers bring their own snack and water bottle
All-Day Campers bring their own snacks, lunch and water bottle
½-Day Morning or Afternoon: $105 Members, $115 General Public
All-Day: $210 Members, $230 General Public
No discounts for partial attendance
Before Care $5/day 7:45-8:45 a.m., Aftercare $5/day, 4:15-5:15 p.m.
Preregistration required; payment must accompany registration. Please call 815-963-6769 or click the links below to register. Registration closes 3:00 p.m. Monday the week before class.
Click here to begin the registration process. It is a two-step process. 1. Complete the Camper Information Form. 2. After completing the form click the link at the end of the form to be directed to our online store to select and reserve your child's place in camp.
Cancellation Policy: Refunds (less 10%) are available for camps when cancelled at least 10 days in advance. Discovery Center reserves the right to cancel camps; in which case, a full refund will be issued.
June 21-25 Mornings: Plant-Powered Production
Investigate the power of plants! Explore where our food and clothing comes from, churn your own butter, and explore some of the smallest helpers in this "growing" job.
June 21-25 Afternoons: Farming of the Future
Have you ever imagined a farm... in space?! Learn about new and inventive ways people are trying to farm their crops! Farms in the sky, farms underground, farms using fish! Build some new farming inventions of your own and explore the future of farming.
June 28-July 2 Mornings: Exploring Electricity
Create an electromagnet, light up a bulb and design your own circuitry picture as we explore the charged-up world of electricity and electrical engineering.
June 28-July 2 Afternoons: Energy Camp
Energy is everywhere! Come explore the many different types of energy by constructing an engineering marvel, cooking up some fun, and making some illuminating discoveries.
July 12-16 Mornings: Creepy Crawlies
Calling all Young Scientists who enjoy things that wiggle, crawl and fly. Discover the Jaw-dropping weirdness of nature! From insects and spiders to worms and crabs, we'll take a live look at some of these cool creatures! Discover how these creatures are different from us and what makes us similar! Learn how these little critters make a huge impact on our ecosystem!
July 12-16 Afternoons: Aquatic Animals
Let's take a deep dive under the sea and learn about some awesome aquatic animals. Explore swamps, rivers, coral reefs and the deep ocean and learn about the animals who live there! Dissect a real squid, touch coral, and learn all about aquatic life.
July 19-23 Mornings: Mythbusters: Feats of Flight
What does it take to defy gravity? Use curiosity, ingenuity, science and math to test flight-related myths and determine if they are confirmed or busted in this wild and wacky week of camp. You'll get hands-on as you build flying contraptions and measure how far they'll fly before crash landing in the drop zone!
July 19-23 Afternoons: CSI: Forensics and Fun
Solve a mystery by studying footprints, fingerprints, decoding messages and using real forensic science! Study some strange science, polish your observation skills, and use the scientific method to prove what’s true. Learn hands-on about Crime Scene Investigation and what it takes to catch a criminal!
August 2-6 Mornings: Movie Magic Science
Boldly go to a galaxy far, far away in this exciting camp full of animating adventures. Explore how movie makers trick your eyes, fool your ears, and play with your sense of scale. Then try to fool your own senses with fun, hands-on activities.
August 2-6 Afternoons: Fantastic Beasts
Want to explore a world of fantastic beasts? Luckily we know right where to find them! Check out amazing creatures who live in the most dangerous places on the planet! Learn about the remarkably cool ways these animals hunt and defend themselves! From shapeshifting to freezing to flying at super-fast speeds, we can take a look at some of the most unusual creature adaptations, and then try them out through hands-on activities.
August 9-13 Mornings: Star Voyagers
Let your imagination take you to the stars! Explore the planets and constellations in our solar system, take a close up look at our moon! Train like an astronaut, design a habitat with all that’s needed for living on Mars, and work with teammates to complete a mission.
August 9-13 Afternoons: Space Explorers
Explore the solar system and beyond! Use UV light to examine ice worlds, Peak inside a star and hop across the galaxy in the planetarium as we imagine traveling to the Moon and Mars. Delve into interplanetary travel, learn how robots are helping us get to outer space! We’ll also practice rocketry and navigation skills as we learn about NASA’s Artemis Program.
Jessica has been the Outreach Coordinator at Discovery Center Museum for the past 8 ½ years. She’s worked as an informal science educator for 11 years. Before Discovery Center, she assisted with live animal shows and school tours at Midwest Museum of Natural History in Sycamore. Jessica holds a Master’s Degree in Biology and a Bachelor’s Degree in Zoology with minors in Chemistry and Psychology (aka she loves ALL the sciences!). In her free time, Jessica likes to host board game parties and run a book club featuring fantasy and sci-fi books. She lives with her husband, young daughter (you may have seen Jessica with her daughter in some of our Playful Learning at Home videos), and their very opinionated cat.
Lee Ann holds a B.S. in education from North Park University in Chicago and has worked in the STEM education field for eight years. Before joining the Discovery Center Museum Education staff, she was an administrator at the Challenger Learning Center where she facilitated and led simulated space missions to Mars and STEM summer camps. She enjoys long walks with her Yorkie Macy Jo.
Chase is our newest addition to the Discovery Center Education Staff. Chase is a graduate of Rockford University with a B.S. in organismal biology and an emphasis in education. He conducted most of his research with rodents and birds studying the spread of tick borne disease. Chase’s first discovered his knack as an educator when he taught a science class for a homeschool group. Since then, he’s performed science demonstrations, taught after-school classes at Spectrum Progressive School, and taught dissection classes to other local groups. At Discovery Center, Chase performs science demonstrations, creates new science programming and teaches outreach classes in schools and libraries. Chase’s favorite scientific subject to talk about is animals - ask him about the dino dig he went on and the bones he found! In particular, Chase loves learning about new species and how living creatures work. Chase also enjoys learning about new technologies and inventions related to computers, space travel, and electronics. In his spare time, you’ll find him hiking, biking, camping or playing the harmonica and ukulele. Chase is looking forward to exciting children about science in our summer camps!