Thursday, 19 May 2016

Online STEM, Tech and Code Camps for Kids for Summer 2016

Are you searching for an online STEM, Tech or Coding Camp for your kids this Summer? We've compiled an updated list, building on our STEM Summer Camps for kids from last year. Newbies on the list include Tech Rocket, Khan Academy, Connected Camps and Brain Chase.

Some camps are completely free such as and Camp Wonderopolis, others carry a charge, like Brain Chase and some offer some free content such as Tech Rocket and Connected Camps. We've included prices, age range and start dates for the Summer Camps of 2016.

Tech Rocket

Website Tech Rocket
Age 10 - 18
Cost $19 pm paid annually / $29 pm
STEM Focus Technology

Tech Rocket was launched by iD Tech as an online learning platform for kids and teens. If you are looking for a physcial summer camp, iD Tech runs summer camps aimed at ages 7 - 17, in the USA and Internationally. They also run physical Tech Mini Camps for kids aged 6 - 9.

Tech Rocket helps kids and teens learn to code, learn game design and graphic design in a engaging and fun way. I actually did their first course on Python and thoroughly enjoyed it. The first 6 courses are free and there are also 6 Hour of Code courses avaiable for free. A monthly subscription will set you back $29 pm, but you can track your progress and earn badges and certificates. d

Code courses include Python, Java, C++ and iOS. Graphic design covers 3D Printing and Photoshop. Game design courses include Minecraft, Minecraft Redstone, Unity and GameSalad.

Brain Chase

Website Brain Chase
Age 6-16
Cost Scout ($79) Explorer ($139) Adventurer ($259)
STEM Focus Science, Math, Engineering, Technology, Art
START DATE The summer 2016 Brain Chase Online Learning Challenge officially launches at 9:00am Eastern on Monday, June 20, 2016. The challenge ends in the beginning of August 2016, but the treasure hunt won’t end until the Mask of Tomoe Gozen has been found.

Trailer from last year:

Brain Chase is an online summer learning challenge that is disguised as a massive global treasure hunt! Designed to keep kids sharp during summer break, children in grades 2-8 complete roughly an hour a day of fun online learning activities, and each completed weekly challenge unlocks a unique, animated webisode containing hidden clues to the location of a real buried treasure somewhere on Earth.

The first participant to pinpoint the treasure within a two-mile radius will embark on an all-expenses paid trip with a parent to dig up the prize – a mechanical treasure piece holding the key to a $10,000 scholarship! Previous winners were whisked away to Spain and Japan to unearth their treasures.

Brain Chase is not free, but an immersive and extensive learning platform to keep your kids engaged and working towards the goal of finding the treasure. It is a Challenge and a Competition (although some regions may not be eligible for the prize, check when you register). Whichever package you select, you'll get access to award winning online learning platform and help from real teachers.

Can't think of anything more exciting than finding a real treasure somewhere in the world!

Connected Camps

Website Connected Camps
Age 8-15
Cost $49 and up
STEM Focus Technology - Minecraft
START DATE Summer Camps start 27 June.

Minecraft fans alert! Connected Camps run online summer camps for kids (minimum age 8 years) who want to play and learn Minecraft with others on a kid safe server. So how does this work? Bascially you purcahse a course (Architecture, Coding, Engineering with Redstone, Game design, Girls Camp, Survival), select a week and then your child joins the online Minecraft server for 2 hours every day at a specified time. Note the timezone is in Pacific Time, so could be odd hours for UK participants. It also doesn't include a Minecraft account, which you'll need to purchase separately at

There are benefits to joining an organised online community in Minecraft. Your child will definitely learn faster and have more fun playing with others online. As Connected Camps comply with the U.S. Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act player younger than 13 will need parental permission to join servers. At least with Connected Camps, you know your child is playing with others of a similar age on a kid friendly server. This is not always the case with Minecraft.

Kid Club in Minecraft

The Free Kid Club by Connected Camp, is a place people can join whenever they want to try out the Connected Camp servers at no cost. The servers are aimed at kids aged 8 and up and they are moderated.

Khan Academy

Website Khan Academy
Age All ages - but probably for bigger kids and teens
Cost Free
STEM Focus Math, Science, Computer Science

Khan Academy, is a non-profit that provides free online materials and resources to support personalised education for learners of all ages. Most of the content is available in video or text format. Some of the content is a bit dry, but it could be just right for your child. You can sign up for free as a parent and create child accounts for each child so they can track their own progress and badges. Khan Academy is a great resource for teachers and homeschoolers. You choose a subject you're interested in (there are tons to choose from) and move on to something else next time.

They have a section for Computer Science, with some projects to try using html, CSS, Javascript and SQL.

Maker Camp

Website Maker Camp #makercamp
Age 8-14 (younger with adult support)
Cost free online (fees may apply for physical camps)
STEM Focus Engineering, Technology, Design

Projects from Maker Camp 2015

Maker Camp is an online online summer camp for maker kids and families brought to you from the organisation behind Maker Faire and Make: magazine. You can also join in physical Maker Camps - locate your nearest Maker Camp on this map. The physcial maker camps take place in libraries, scout huts, community centres, makerspaces and more. You can even sign up as an affiliate to host a camp in your community.

Sign up to the Google+ community and the Maker Camp mailing list for the online camp. The Maker Camp Youtube channel provides lots of ideas for the online camp.
There are physical Maker Camps but kids can participate online from home too. It's a great tool to dip in and out of.

Age 6-14
Cost Free - Badges & Kits available in the Market
STEM Focus All
START DATE Sign up to be notified with the start of Summer Camp is a fantastic site where children from around age 7 can earn virtual badges by completing challenges. Children can earn badges all year round but there's plenty here for kids to choose from to put together their own custom STEM summer camp.

Earning the virtual badges is free but does require an account which must be authorised by a parent. There are some fantastic STEM related badges available. There are whole categories dedicated to Building, Engineering, Hacking and Science and there are also tech-related badges in other categories such as Art, Design and Exploring. is a bit like an Instructables for kids, where they can share their own projects with the community online.

According to their blog, they will be launching their Summer Camps towards the end of May 2016.

Camp Wonderopolis

Website Camp Wonderopolis
Age 8-14
Cost Free - Camp kit (not required) $20
STEM Focus Science
START DATE Camp starts June 13, register here.

Camp Wonderopolis is the the Summer Camp section of Wonderopolis, a fun website where kids can learn about the hows and whys of the world. This year's focus is health and fitness (to coincide with the Olympics in Brazil). Camp Wonderopolis is created by National Center for Families Learning.

If you sign your child up for Camp Wonderopolis (free) then they can access multimedia STEM lessons and earn Wonder Cards which appear on their Dashboard and are also available to print out. The lessons are a mixture of videos, images and text with a read aloud option. You can also access Camp Kits

There are also maker activities to carry out offline and quizzes to complete to earn the cards.

We really like Camp Wonderopolis. You should be aware that it links to lots of third party content so you child can easily end up at other websites. Just make sure you keep an eye on what they are doing.

littleBits Summer Camp Contest

Website littleBits
Age 6+ but you need to be 13+ to enter
Cost Free - but may require kit and you have to be a member of
STEM Focus Technology
START DATE Camp Contest runs from 1 June - 30 June 2016, Read the Rules and Sign Up Here.

We love littleBits to help get kids interested in electronics and digital making. (Read our review). littleBits are celebrating the National Week of Making with a Summer Camp Contest.

You'll need to be a member of and own the kits to enter the contest. The theme is MUSIC and there will be challenges are set every morning. Upload your inventions to the littleBits community to win prizes.

Offer an online Summer Camp for kids with a focus on STEM and want to be added to our list? Please contact us.

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