Throughout the school year, students follow the Common Core program and whatever lesson plans their teachers design. But during the summer, kids get to choose. They can read books they love, design their own arts and crafts programs, and pick what they want to learn about. If your young child or teen has a passion for programming and coding, they can spend their summer learning about their favorite subjects.
Check out these 19 programming, coding, and STEAM summer camps across Los Angeles that kids of all ages will love.
iD Tech Summer Camps at UCLA
Each summer, iD Tech hosts multiple camps engaging kids in AI, machine learning, film, robotics, and game design. These camps have been running for the past 20 years and keep getting better. There are girls-only camps, co-ed camps, and camps for beginner to advanced STEAM fans. Some programs last one week, while others extend to two weeks, and most accommodate both day campers and overnight students. Check out their locations and dates to see which ones will work for you.
Camp Tech Revolution at UCLA
Also at UCLA is the Camp Tech Revolution by Lavner Camps. Kids can take camps for just one week or opt into multiple weeks. Through each week of camp, students pick one major and one minor and follow their desired paths to learn about various subjects. There are more than 40 majors and minors to choose from. A few examples are 3D Printing & 3D Modeling, Robotics and Artificial Intelligence, Roller Coaster Design, and Esports.
Digital Media Academy at Stanford University
Stanford has its own Digital Media Academy STEAM summer camps kids can attend to explore their love of coding. In 2019, some of the camps that the university is hosting include game design, coding and AI, and robotics and engineering. These are for students in their early to late teens and last for one or two weeks depending on which one your child chooses to attend.
California Science Center
From June to early August, the California Science Center holds weeklong half-day and full-day camps for local residents. Kids can learn how to build their own rockets, or robots that navigate mazes, and learn the basics of biology and science. Your child can choose between a general camp or look for one that specializes in coding and program development.
Rolling Robots has exciting activities and camps throughout the year, so it makes sense that their summer camps would be popular with kids across Los Angeles. Check their schedule to find the exact coding camp that your child is interested in. Kids older than 10 can learn about app development, Arduino design, and VEX EDR Robotics coding. Younger kids can learn with Minecraft and Scratch. Rolling Robots has three locations across the county.
For the past 10 years, PlanetBravo has been holding tech and coding-based camps for kids. This summer, sign up for their Techno-Tainment camp, which combines technology with fun and friendship. PlanetBravo also has an after-school Code Like a Girl program, so you can get an idea for what their programs are like before you choose a summer camp.
CodeREV Kids has multiple camps in the Los Angeles area and boasts one of the lowest student-to-staff ratios for campers. These day camps combine technology with outdoor activities so kids can have a traditional summer camp experience while tapping into their love of coding. Look for camps teaching kids everything from app development to programming to Wild Web Design. Your kids are sure to find something they love.
USA Chess Video Game Creation Camps
USA Chess Active Learning camps offer more than just chess camps: they’ve got video game development camps and Mincraft camps for kids in the Los Angeles area. The programs can be combined, so students play chess in the morning and then learn scratch animation in the afternoon (or vice-versa). They can also sign up for just chess camps that last a full or half day. USA Chess has camps across the country to engage kids.
Robot Challengers & Reaction Racers Camp
Destination Science has several STEAM camps to choose from (including a physics and science magic camp), but the one that is most likely to appeal to coders is the Robot Challengers & Reaction Racers Camp. Kids will build a Robot Crawler and learn the basic principles of centripetal force friction along with the value of simple machines. The principles kids learn in this camp can help them develop robots that they code in their future projects.
UCode has several camps across California where kids ages 6-16 can improve their computational thinking. They have development bootcamps, robotics camps, introductions to Python, and classes on web animation. This is a top option for kids who want to take a deep dive into a specific coding skill set. These camps start in July and run through the end of August.
ATAM is the Academy for Technology Art and Music. Their summer lineup is packed with different camps for kids to try. Explore virtual reality or play with superhero animation to make your own Ironman or Captain Marvel. There are also CSI crime scene camps and makerspace camps for kids who want to transfer the skills they learned programming into other STEAM problem-solving concepts.
The Digital Dragon summer camps are ideal for kids 7-14 who want to make their own video games or other digital projects. Kids can learn the basics of engineering, use drones, and create short videos to upload to their YouTube channels. Digital Dragon also has a Daily Tech Adventure for students who can only attend for one day or for parents who want to see if their child enjoys the camp and its activities.
Camp X is produced through Milken Community Schools for kids 9-14. Campers can decide what channel they want to follow throughout the day as they learn. For example, budding entrepreneurs can take the Make it and Market channel, while artists can sign up for the Craft Studio. Kids interested in programming can choose from the Robotics channel, the Gaming, Coding and Digital Design channel, or the Open Makerspace Studio. During breaks, students can play games in the amphitheatre or try their hand at rock wall climbing.
Ojai Valley School
The Ojai Valley School has a diverse lineup of summer camps for kids, and offer both boarding and day camp options. The Robotics/Flight Camp is available for up to six weeks and as short as two weeks. You can customize when you want to learn and what you want to learn by attending these sessions. The majority of these camps run from the end of June to early August.
Two Bit Circus Foundation Camp
The Two Bit Circus Foundation was built to “cultivate the next generation of inventors, advance environmental stewardship and spur community engagement.” Over two weeks at the end of July, they host a summer STEAM camp for kids ages 7-12. Campers can choose a half-day or full-day session exploring the micro-amusement park and learning about STEAM concepts and applications.
Gnomon Digital Arts Summer Camp
Gnomon, referred to as the MIT of Digital Arts, offers one week camps for high school students who want to explore digital art. Along with Intro to Game Creation, attendees can choose more specific camp concepts like digital painting, digital sculpting, and character design. This is a great opportunity for teens to combine their love of technology and art and explore potential career paths for when they leave high school.
There are more than 67 Camp Galileo locations, with many in Southern California. These camps work to develop “solution-oriented innovators” while instilling a sense of curiosity and courage in the learning experience. There are separate camps according to grades from pre-K to 10th, so if your child is in pre-kindergarten, they can stick with Galileo camps as they grow up.
The goal of Project Scientist is to involve girls in STEAM and encourage them to develop a passion for tech, engineering, and exploration. They have a Project Scientist summer camp with more than 41 STEM expeditions with field trips, lessons, and activities for budding programmers. Girls ages 4-12 can choose a theme to follow this summer. There’s a Coding and Gaming theme, a Robotics and AI theme, and a Science of Crime theme with an emphasis on cybersecurity.
SEEK Through The National Society of Black Engineers
The National Society of Black Engineers developed Summer Engineering Experience for Kids (SEEK) where underrepresented kids of color discover and foster their love of engineering and programming. In 2019, SEEK will be right in the middle of Los Angeles at Zela Davis Elementary School from July 15 to August 2. In 2017, SEEK camps were held in 15 cities across the country, connecting with 15,000 students. Participants must apply, and those determined to benefit most will be selected to attend.