Full STEAM Ahead! Science, Math & Art Programs for Kids Abound in NY Area

Full STEAM Ahead! Science, Math & Art Programs for Kids Abound in NY Area

We've rounded up a bunch of STEM (nay, STEAM!) programs for kids in the NYC area, including classes and camps with a science and math bent, fun family outings that immerse kids in STEM concepts, and some expert advice for parents thrown in for good measure.

There is undoubtedly a push for our kids to be more fully immersed and engaged in STEM concepts. And while the subjects of science, technology, engineering, and math may seem as foreign as the Chinese language to many of us, our kids’ fluency in these topics will ensure our country’s future and, more immediately, our kids’ success. Add arts into the mix (the ‘A’ squeezed into STEM!) and students in our area will be poised to be the innovators of tomorrow. 

According to the folks at Stemtosteam.org, the objectives of the STEAM movement are to:

• transform research policy to place Art + Design at the center of STEM

• encourage integration of Art + Design in K–20 education

• influence employers to hire artists and designers to drive innovation

We’ve rounded up the most recent crop of innovative programs and products for kids in the NYC area, including Brooklyn, Manhattan, Queens, Long Island, Westchester, and Fairfield County, CT, to help you get your children involved in the movement—the STEAM movement, that is!

 

Science, Math, and Art Pop Up More Frequently at NY-Area Kids’ Programs—Here Are 13 Worth Checking Out

 

STEM Camp Adds Drones and Robots

With a focus on STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics), TEKintellect Robotix Workshops hosts after-school classes at 35 schools and summer camps across New York City using Legos, robots, and other technology. The 3-year-old company will introduce two new programs using robots and drones to its summer camps this year. Campers in the aeronautics class will use NASA-developed teaching materials to control drones with cameras to demonstrate flight. Kids will learn about aerodynamics and aeronautics concepts to get them excited about aviation and understand how planes and drones fly. The camp’s robot program uses an Aisoy1 robot to teach campers the MIT-developed software languages Scratch and Python. Aisoy1 is a programmable social robot made in Spain and interacts using those programs. Kids can develop their own games and videos using the computer software. 


Hands-On Labs Boost STEM Skills at Williamsburg Preschool

Bright Horizons Family Solutions at Kent Avenue in Williamsburg, which provides early education and preschools, child care, and educational services, added yearlong STEM labs for its toddler and preschool programs. In the STEM labs, which started in February, children learn basic science and math skills through hands-on demonstrations. Allison Wilmot, director of the Williamsburg location, introduced the STEM curriculum to the Kent Avenue location two years ago, but says the labs will reinforce the skills learned in class that are needed later on in the student’s education.

 

New STEM-focused Preschool Opens on Upper East Side

Iken Science Academy, a full-day preschool with a STEM focus—the first of its kind in New York City, according to founder Monica Iken-Murphy—encourages kids ages 3-5 to tap into their innate curiosity about the world and learn through a science and technology-based curriculum in an interactive setting. The design of the year-round progressive preschool, opening this June 2015, reflects an innovative approach to early childhood education. The collaborative space features smart boards, light boards, and an interactive science lab in which kids can design their own experiments. 

 

Long Island's Future Stars Day Camp Adds STEM Programs

In operation for more than 30 years, Long Island’s Future Stars day camp offers a diverse line-up of sports and specialty programs for kids in kindergarten through 12th grades. For the first time this summer at its Old Westbury location, Future Stars will offer weekly sessions of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math programming including a Lego robotics camp and a video game design lab. From building Lego machines to engineering Lego robots, campers entering third through ninth grades are immersed in project-based robotics challenges, led by Queens-based technology learning center RoboMindTech.

 

Reform Jewish Day School Adds Summer STEM Program

Rodeph Sholom School is adding a two-week STEM camp program to its diverse summer programming. The school is partnering with i2 Camp to help middle school students develop their 21st century skills. Campers will choose one of two courses: Physics of Photography or Digital Game Design from Scratch. In Physics Photography, campers will learn how to use physics to construct a pinhole camera using boxes and other simple materials. In Digital Game Design from Scratch, campers will learn how to create an original video game with custom graphics, sound effects, and music.      

 

Locust Valley Day Camp Adds Science Programs

Friends Academy Summer Camp is adding three new science-related programs to its day camp offerings for kids ages 8-13: CSI, Marine Science, and Mindcraft game programming. The CSI camp explores forensic science. Kids will use fingerprinting, handwriting, and hair fiber analyses to solve a mock murder. In Marine Science, kids will go on a field trip to the Oyster Bay Waterfront Center to study marine life, such as fish, crabs, clams, and oysters along the beachfront. During Computer: Mindcraft, kids will create their own video game, from the design to the processing and planning. This camp ties in the concept of Minecraft, in that the game will be set in a virtual world.

 

New Brooklyn Summer Camp Includes STEAM Option

Bank Street Summer Camp is opening a Brooklyn Heights location for its summer day camp for kids. The camp is also participating in the August Alliance, which offers summer programs in August, when there are fewer programs available. Weekly options for campers in second grade and higher include a S.T.E.A.M program and the All-Stars program, in which campers can dabble in sports.

 

Science-Based Preschool Opens in Park Slope

Brooklyn Preschool of Science, a hands-on learning-focused preschool in Brooklyn, is scheduled to open a second location in Park Slope in September. Unlike other preschools, students enrolled at Brooklyn Preschool of Science have the chance to do hands-on activities in a zoo and museum-like learning environment. The Park Slope outpost will be bigger than the current Boerum Hill space with two outdoor areas, which will allow kids to learn about plants. The Park Slope preschool will have four aquarium tanks built into the walls to house 20 different reptiles, mammals, fish, and invertebrates from Madagascar such as cockroaches or giant millipedes. 

 

New Math-Only Learning Center Open in Bath Beach/Bensonhurst

The Russian School of Mathematics, a classroom-based, teacher-led program dedicated to helping students learn and comprehend mathematics, opened a new location in Brooklyn this past fall for students in kindergarten through eighth grade. This location can service students from neighborhoods such as Brighton Beach, Borough Park and Dyker Heights among various other south Brooklyn communities. RSM programs are systematic and based on mathematical practices taught in the former Soviet Union and are still currently taught in Europe. The program also focuses on providing elementary school students an early introduction to algebra.

 

Technology Education Center Open in Westport, CT

CompuChild, a nationwide center that offers children and teens lessons in technology education, opened a branch in Westport last year. The center offers interactive STEM-focused classes to help advance young students’ computer skills and activate their interests in fields such as math and engineering. Some of the programs that are designed for younger students ages 6 to 9 include Lego Robotics, Animation, and Computer Art. While older students ages 9 to 13 can enroll in the Lego Mindstorms class, in which they learn how to build and program robots that can be modified to challenge those of their classmates. 

 

Math Tutoring Center Opens in Park Slope

Mathnasium, a math-only learning center, opened last summer in Park Slope. The math tutoring center in Brooklyn utilizes the Mathnasium Method to help student catch up, keep up, and get ahead in math. This new division focuses on second to 12th grade by assessing each student’s strengths and weaknesses in order to make a specific learning plan for them. With a 3-to-1 student-to-teacher ratio, students are given the opportunity to build independence.

 

New Rochelle Day Camp for Girls Includes STEM Alongside Cooking

Next Level Day Camp, a day camp for girls in third through ninth grades, will host its inaugural summer this year, offering a variety of activities including STEM, cooking, drama, sports, yoga, and cross fit. The weekly camp offerings cater to a population of campers fascinated by everything from athletics and cooking to robotics and cheerleading.  Held at the Ursuline School in New Rochelle, the camp’s mission is to inspire girls of all abilities and interests to explore new possibilities, develop confidence, and participate in fun-filled learning in a structured environment.

 

The Discovery Museum Launches Wonder Workshops Series for Kids

The Discovery Museum & Planetarium in Bridgeport, CT added multiple new workshops and exhibits for kids this spring, including an adventure science exhibit and weekend Lego robotics classes. Future engineers (first through third grade) build models and animate them using basic robotics tools during a four-week series of Lego WeDo workshops. Other workshops that will be held this spring will relate to some of the museum’s most popular summer programs, including Don't Try This At Home and Mad Scientist classes, which are offered in July and August. 

 

Long Island Day Camp Builds High-Tech Science Facility

After adding a science academy to its camp program two years ago, Park Shore Country Day Camp and School in Dix Hills built a high-tech facility for campers to learn about science. The new center will be open for camp this summer. The STEAM Science Center, which adds art to science, technology, engineering, and mathematics, will have touchscreen televisions, Einstein tablets, and wireless Internet throughout the entire building. Two 300-gallon aquariums will be housed in the basement as well as a marine touch tank that allows campers to touch different ocean animals

 

NY Area is Full of Places to Mix Fun with STEM Learning—Presenting Our Top 7

Beyond school, summer camp, and after-school activities, the NY area is rich with places where families can mix fun with learning. Here are a few of our favorites for introducing kids to STEM concepts without even a hint of the "yuk" factor.

girl in bubble at nysci

NYSCI: 

Explore the intriguing world of science with games, sports and hands-on activities at New York Hall of Science. NYSCI also hosts World Maker Faire in September where hundreds of young inventors demonstrate their innovative creations.

 

Liberty Science Center:

The Liberty Science Center in Jersey City, NJ, is all about giving kids (and their grownups!) hands-on opportunities to learn about the world around them.

 

AMNH:

The American Museum of Natural History is perhaps a misnomer, and it's surely not just for history buffs—there's plenty of science to be found in the halls of this iconic institution. The experiences you can choose from feel like a microcosm of the life itself: from space to dinosaurs to Lucy, the most complete early hominid skeleton, to the artifacts of Asian and European civilizations.


MoMath:  

The Museum of Mathematics in Manhattan is a dynamic and interactive museum that focuses on enhancing public understanding and perception of math in daily life—and believe it or not, it's fun. You’ll find exhibits such as Feedback Fractals, which uses ordinary video cameras to produce intricate, infinitely repeating patterns, and Wall of Fire, where visitors interact with a room-high plane of laser light to discover the hidden shapes lurking in everyday objects.


Legoland Westchester:  

If you think playing with Legos sounds like more fun than learning, you're quite right—but research shows that active learning is key. According to LEGO education experts, playing with the bricks enables students to be active, creative and collaborative solution-seekers. "In this way their instinct to learn is stimulated, and they are motivated to apply their learning in new contexts, which means that they embark on a self-directed learning process."

 

Town of Ramapo Challenger Center:  

At this venue formerly known as the Lower Hudson Valley Challenger Center, kids can become astronauts for a day and families can go on space missions to the moon, Mars, and beyond.

 

Yale Peabody Museum of Natural History:  

From the 150-million-year-old Apatosaurus skeleton in the Great Hall to the two-story-tall sculpture of Torosaurus outside, the Yale Peabody Museum of Natural History in New Haven, CT, is sure to give your kids their dino fix, plus a whole lot more!

 

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