As temperatures get hotter and kids finish their last days at school, parents are looking ahead to summer plans. Here are five cool events in Arizona where kids will have fun and learn a lot about tech.
VR Junkies Summer Camp
VR Junkies, a virtual reality arcade, is a fun place to spend time indoors this summer. Customers pay per minute for a virtual reality game of their choosing, including kid-friendly games.
On top of regular gaming, the arcade offers birthday parties and even a summer camp for kids ages 9-15. Campers get to build their own computer, learn coding, and play VR games.
The program is offered all summer and is available in half- or full-day sessions. Half-day sessions are generally $200, while full days are double that at $400. There is also a one-time materials fee of $60. Find more information here.
iD Tech Camps
Held at Arizona State University, these summer camps offer a wide variety of activities. The company behind the camps, iD Tech, specializes in youth programming and conducts similar camps across the country in an effort to get kids interested in STEM fields. Campers ages 7-17 can learn coding, programming, YouTube production, 3D printing, game design, robotics, and cybersecurity.
The camps are broken up by age group and topic and are held through June and July. Costs range from $825 to $1129 for a session. Find more information here.
Play-Well TEKnologies Summer Camps
Kids who love Legos will go crazy for this camp. Play-Well TEKnologies’ camps allow kids to learn engineering, architecture and physics through over 20,000 Legos in each class.
Camps are offered in Coconino, Maricopa, Pima, Yavapai and Yuma counties for kids aged 5-14. The camps run throughout the summer and cost about $120 to $145.
Biosphere2 Summer Science Academy
Biosphere 2, owned by the University of Arizona, is a phenomenon in itself. This gigantic research center in Oracle opened in 1991 and ran experiments related to different biomes. The center holds its own rainforest, ocean and desert, and it offers tours and plenty of museum-like reading material for anyone who wants to spend a day visiting.
For those looking for an even more in-depth experience, Biosphere 2 operates a summer camp for middle and high schoolers. Participants at this sleepaway camp get to work side-by-side with Biosphere 2 researchers, visit the University of Arizona, and complete a desert ropes course. The week ends with campers presenting their research.
The first session is for 7th through 9th graders and runs July 9-15. The second session, for grades 9 through 12, runs July 16-22. This one is definitely pricey, though—attendance for one session costs over $2000. Find more information here.
For younger kids, Camp Invention offers activities like launching rockets, building spy tools, and hatching eggs in a “space lab.” Inspired by the Inductees of the National Inventors Hall of Fame, this camp takes STEM learning seriously while also having fun.
Programs are offered for grades K-6 at elementary and junior high schools throughout the state. Sessions cost $250. Find more information here.