Would you like to give your child exposure to STEM opportunities outside of school? Are you looking for after-school or summer activities, but are not sure where to start?
STEM programs for kids and teens are available in communities all over the country, offering a rich variety of options. There are activities for students of all ages and different learning styles; in the summer or during the school year; in formats like weekly clubs, classes, summer camps, one-time events; and internships. Some focus on a single interest while others provide wider exposure to multiple STEM fields.
STEM programs are offered by all kinds of organizations. You will find programs presented by private companies, local public libraries, universities, after-school programs, and non-profits. They cover robotics, math, engineering, STEAM (STEM with the addition of art), coding, and marine biology, just to name a few.
You don’t have to spend a lot of money to explore STEM. While some organizations charge a fee, many STEM programs are free or low cost. Look for affordable programs through your school’s enrichment program and for free STEM activities at your local library.
Looking specifically for STEM summer programs and science and tech camps? Click here for BostonTechMom’s guidance to finding the perfect summer science or tech activity for your child.
National STEM Programs
Here’s a sampling of programs with a national reach. Some run during the school year only, others during the summer, and some hold programs throughout the year.
Black Girls CODE
Black Girls CODE is dedicated to teaching girls ages 7-17 about computer programming and digital technology.
CyberPatriot is the National Youth Cyber Education Program created by the Air Force Association to inspire students toward careers in cybersecurity or other STEM disciplines critical to the nation’s future.
FIRST provides team-based robotics programs to students in kindergarten through high school. Members join robotics teams and learn about science, technology, robotics, engineering and much more.
Girls Who Code
Girls Who Code hosts free coding clubs around the country at schools, libraries, and community centers and teaches computer science to girls in grades 3-5 and 6-12 in a fun and friendly environment.
GlaxoSmithKline’s free summer program is designed to engage children (grades 2-6) in science, technology, engineering, and math.
Microsoft Store offers a variety of free tech-oriented camps during the school year and summer through their YouthSpark program.
PBS KIDS: Design Squad Global
In Design Squad Global (DSG) after-school clubs, kids ages 10-13 explore engineering and invention through high-energy, hands-on activities.
TechGirlz’s mission is to inspire middle school girls to explore the possibilities of technology to empower their future careers. TechGirlz is accomplishing its mission through the creation of free, fun, interactive “TechShopz” led by industry professionals, leaders and students.
The REC Foundation presents the VEX IQ Challenge Next Level and VEX Robotics Competition Turning Point to involve students in elementary school through college in hands-on robotics programs and competitions.