We’re excited to bring you our biggest guide to the best STEM camps in and near Chicago. There are loads of great options for elementary school students up to high school students to build and apply their science, math, technology, and engineering skills in informal, creative environments this summer. These camps help students up through high school grow valuable 21st-century skills while having fun. Your child can grow engineering expertise and observational skills, enhance critical thinking and creativity while coding apps and computer games. They can develop increased coordination while learning to pilot drones, or maybe they’ll invent the Next Big Thing.
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Summer Camps can contact themakermom (at) hotmail.com for information on enhanced listings in our guide.
Chicago STEM Summer Camp Guide 2021
Presenting STEM Camp Guide Sponsors
Digital Adventures In the Ultimate Adventure camp, we teach kids how to construct robots, model structures in 3D, build mobile applications and websites, create virtual reality worlds, design video games, hack Minecraft and make movies/animations.
Galileo Innovation Camps At Camp Galileo, pre-K – 8th graders tackle hands-on art and science challenges that ignite their inner innovator and boost their creative confidence—all in COVID-safe cohorts that spend 75% of the day outdoors (and 100% of it having unforgettable fun). Save $50 per week for two weeks or more! 50+ locations. Optional extended care.
STEM Camps Around Chicago
(If you’re looking for all-girls camps, check out our girls-only camp guide!)
Adler Planetarium Camps for kids pre-K through 10th grade. Older students have several exciting Full STEAM Ahead options. Internship opportunities are also available at Adler for high school students. Chicago (Museum Campus)
Alexa Café Endorsed by the Society for Women Engineers, these day and overnight camps for girls teach doing, app development and AI skills to young women ages 10-15. These week-long summer programs are held at prestigious campuses nationwide, including Lake Forest College, Bryn Mawr, Sarah Lawrence, and more.
Argonne National Lab Coding Camp is one week only and limited to 30 high school students. Learn to code from some of the best and brightest computer scientists in the nation. In this free five-day enrichment experience, students learn Python, connect with Argonne scientists and program a robot via a Raspberry Pi.
Bit Space Week-long, project-based learning for kids ages 9-16 at Chicago’s premier maker lab for kids. Campers use power tools, laser cutters, 3D printers, electronics, and computers to design and create something new each week. Lincoln Square
Camp Invention National program serving kids in kindergarten-6 with several sites around the Chicago metro area as well as around the country.
Camp Galileo see Galileo Innovation Camps below.
Center for Gifted Offers a wide range of exciting STEM and STEAM programs with half and full-day programs available. Project 2016 is just for 6-12 graders; other camps serve kids as young as preK. Not all sites serve all ages. Barrington, Buffalo Grove, Chicago, Crete, Darien, Elmhurst, Glenview, Naperville, Skokie, Wheaton
Center for Talent Development Run through Northwestern University in Evanston. Enrichment and academic programs for students in grades 4-12. Topics include STEM, civics and more. Overnight (residential) options available.
Chicago Architecture Center (CAC) Details coming soon. Watch their site for more information.
Chicago Botanic Garden Options from pre-K through grade 7, with leadership opportunities for 8-10th graders. Week-long camps for middle school students include chemistry, botany, cooking, and ecology. Glencoe
Chicago Maritime Arts Center Boat-building camps and marine ecology programs for kids ages 11-17 at various locations in Chicago.
College of Lake County (CLC) Program options for elementary schoolers through high school seniors. Topics: rocket science, math, sound design, digital film making, fire science, lasers and more. They also offer fast-paced summer classes for gifted students. Camps are half-day, Monday-Thursday. Grayslake and Southlake
Cook County Forest Preserves From gardening to outdoor survival skills, the Forest Preserves of Cook County offer a range of weeklong summer camps. Age groups and locations vary, so click for details.
Digital Adventures In the Ultimate Adventure camp, we teach kids how to construct robots, model structures in 3D, build mobile applications and websites, create virtual reality worlds, design video games, hack Minecraft and make movies/animations. Lincoln Park, Wilmette, Oak Park
Digital Media Academy Programs for kids ages 7-17 in game design, Fortnite game mechanics, streaming on Twitch or YouTube, photography, 3D modeling, music production, and more. Loyola University, University of Chicago
Dominican University The Summer Gifted and Talented Program provides a range of STEM programs for kids in grades 2-8. River Forest
Field Museum Tween Camp invites young learners ages 11–13 for hands-on exploration while partnering with scientists and educators in this week-long camp. Internships and volunteer positions are available to high school students. Chicago (Museum Campus)
Frank Lloyd Wright Trust Weeklong half-day camps for kids in grades 3-8. Also, select high schools students meet once a week for several weeks part of the High School Design Studio.
Galileo Innovation Camps At Camp Galileo, pre-K – 8th graders tackle hands-on art and science challenges that ignite their inner innovator and boost their creative confidence—all in COVID-safe cohorts that spend 75% of the day outdoors (and 100% of it having unforgettable fun). Save $50 per week for two weeks or more! 50+ locations. Optional extended care. www.galileo-camps.com
2021 Chicago-area Galileo Locations:
432 S Mitchell Ave, Arlington Heights, IL 60005
2510 Ashland Ave, Evanston, IL 60201
501 W. Ogden Ave, La Grange, IL 60525
700 W. Willow Street, Chicago, IL. 60614
3210 Dundee Rd, Northbrook, IL 60062
1515 Lathrop Ave, River Forest, IL 60305
2009 W. Schiller Street, Chicago IL 60622
1095 Gage St., Winnetka, IL 60093
Gen-Cyber Camps Cybersecurity camps for students in K-12 as well as teachers.
Girl Scouts of Greater Chicago and Northwest Indiana Click to read more about their girls-only day camps, like Eco-Engineers, Roller Coaster Excitement, Get Ready to Experiment and Explore Nature (GREEN Girls), and residential camps, like Outdoor STEM Lab and the Engineering Design Challenge.
Governors State University STEAM Camps for middle and high school students ages 11-16 years old include current topics in science, arts, career development and life on a dynamic and modern college campus. University Park
Harper College Click on the “InZone” e-catalog to find an impressive range of tech classes, including many with a manufacturing angle. Stay tuned for 2019 program options. See more like this in the Nuts and Bolts Foundation Guide. Palatine
Heph Ed STEAM Camps where the A stands for Adventure. Camps for kids ages 8-13. Oak Park
iD Tech CampThe world leader in summer STEM education, with over 400,000 alumni since 1999. Programs for ages 7-19 held at 150 prestigious campuses including Northwestern, Loyola, Stanford, NYU, and others. Students build in-demand skills in coding, game development, robotics, and design. Northwestern University (Evanston), Loyola University (Chicago- Rogers Park/Edgewater), GEMS World Academy (downtown Chicago), Benedictine University (Lisle), Lake Forest College, Judson University (Elgin)
Illinois Institute of Technology (IIT, Illinois Tech) Several programs for middle and high school students who are interested in technology, business, architecture, science, engineering, or computers. Some programs can lead to college credit while others are just for fun. Commuters only.
IMSA, Illinois Math and Science Academy Summer@IMSA offers week-long summer science and technology programs for rising 3rd-9th graders in Aurora (at IMSA), Chicago, Belleville and Springfield. They offer additional residential programs in Aurora for 8th and 9th graders. Note that some programs have competitive entry.
JCC Apachi 3rd-7th graders explore life science through hands-on activities and experiments in this full-day camp. Chicago (North Side), #BigIdea Camp blends technology workshops with traditional camp fun in the spirit of Israel’s high-tech industry. Lincoln Park and Northbrook
Kids Science Labs Science camps serving kids ages 4-12. Half and full-day options. Multiple locations around Chicagoland
Kids STEM Studio Week-long full-day STEM camps with a nut-free lunch included. Chicago (downtown Lincoln Park), Skokie
Moraine Valley Community College The Valley Learning Center in Palos Hills provides a variety of STEM offerings, some for kids up to age 18.
Morton Arboretum Science-themed camps for pre-K-8th graders.
Museum of Science and Industry (MSI) Summer camp in the Fab(rication) Lab: 3D printing, laser cutting, vinyl cutting, computer-controlled milling, digital embroidery and more for students in 5th-9th grade.
National Society for Black Engineers, SEEK Engineering Explorer Summer Camp Week-long program introduces campers to various disciplines of engineering through hands-on projects and meeting with professionals. Runs from 9 am-3:30 pm each day. Lunch is provided. Chicago (click link for exact location)
Noggin Builders EXPLORE! BUILD! CREATE! Noggin Builders one-week camps are filled with fun, hands-on STEM! Curious explorers (preK & K-8th) build creative problem solving and STEM skills with different themes each week. Robotics camp (5th-8th) includes design and coding. Use STEMKIDS19 by April 15 for $25 off any camp for K-8. Northbrook (two locations)
Northern Illinois University STEM Summer Camps An exciting variety of day and residential (overnight) STEM camps at Northern’s DeKalb campus, including options just for girls.
Nuts and Bolts and Thingamajings National manufacturing camp for students ages 12-16 that may be offered at a community college in your area. The camp gives kids a taste of modern manufacturing. Program may include tours of manufacturing facilities, Computer Aided Design (CAD) experience, entrepreneurship, and more.
Create products with Computer Aided Design (CAD).
Oak Park Educational Foundation BASE Camp kids in elementary school through 8th grade. Topics include textile engineering, origami, architecture, robotics, aeronautics, and more. Oak Park
Oakton Community College Students ages 8-12can apply their STEAM skills to fun-filled camps such as Wearable Technology, Escape Room Challenge, Battle Royale, and more! Des Plaines, Skokie
Power Up Tech Academy Kids entering grades 1-9 code their own video games, Minecraft mods, animations, websites, and more. Beginner to advanced coders welcome. Daily outdoor recreation. Chicago (Roscoe Village)
Project SYNCERE Supporting Youth’s Needs with Core Engineering Research Experiments seeks to prepare the minds and create pathways for underrepresented and disadvantaged students to pursue STEM. They offer a free High School STEM Summer Camp and six, one-week, full-day paid Middle School Summer Camp (financial assistance is available) both programs take place at Holy Angels Catholic School.
Science and Arts Academy This K-8 private school for gifted children offers a variety of camps with extended day options. Des Plaines
Shedd Aquarium Summer Road Trip Camp for middle school students (grades 6-8) is typically offered only twice during the summer. The week-long program designed to investigate natural environments and culminates with an overnight stay at the aquarium.
STEM for Kids – Illinois NW Chicago Summer Camps in Engineering, Robotics, Computer Programming, Game-making, Animation, Entrepreneurship for kids in grades K-8. Flexible scheduling options. Palatine, Rolling Meadows
Steve and Kate’s Camp This national camp, more STEAM than STEM, now has five Chicagoland locations. Pre-K – 7th graders. Chicago (Andersonville, Lakeview, Lincoln Park, West Loop), Oak Park-River Forest
The Laboratory Check out creatively-themed science and tech (robotics) camps. Serves kindergarten up to about 7th grade, age 12. Chicago (Bucktown)
TinkRworks Exceptional summer STEAM experiences for K-12 students. Learn to build and fly high-tech drones, design and program robots, make magic portions, and more! Hinsdale, Downers Grove, Darien, Bolingbrook, Elmhurst, Glencoe, Glenview, Park Ridge.
Triton College Summer camps for ages 7-12 with a few options for kids up to 15. Options include model rocketry, programming with Scratch, automotive technology, robotics, and the girls-only GADgET program. River Grove
UIC Engineering Camps One- and two-week sessions for middle and high school students. Details TBD. UIC Campus
Wishcraft Workshop Kids 8-12 build design, engineering, and maker skills in the week-long Spoolhouse Rock program where they design and construct a garment from scratch. Programs for younger kids, too. Chicago (Lincoln Park)
Looking for camps just for girls? We got your back! Check out our All-Girls Chicago STEM Camp Guide
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