15 STEAM-Focused Programs Around Atlanta
Technology and creative thinking make so many advances in our daily lives it’s often hard to keep up. It’s up to parents to take advantage of local resources. Here are schools, camps, programs and museums that emphasize STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art and math) for kids.
In the primary years, curriculum introduces students to computer science, information technology and digital literacy through classroom inquiry. The secondary years focuses on social entrepreneurialism, coding and computer science electives with the option to achieve a professional certification and continue in grades 11 and 12 with a two-year computer science course.
Through design thinking, project-based learning and maker, design and engineering efforts, students engage with their community in order to innovate. Students design prosthetic hands with 3D printers, create bio-engineering solutions, draft digital blueprints and more. This learning naturally integrates science, technology, engineering and mathematics.
From coding classes in the Primary School and an after-school STEM Academy in the Lower School to robotics and computer science courses in the Middle School and engineering and public health concentrations in the Upper School, there is no shortage of STEM opportunities. Walker’s new science and technology building, opening in August 2018, expands the offerings.
Coupling a rigorous curriculum with a positive culture, Smoke Rise Prep provides students with an educational advantage that fully prepares them for high school and beyond. Students are provided with 1:1 technology in the form of Chromebooks and all classrooms are equipped with Smart Boards. STEM classes and the Robotics Club both offer the chance for students to get hands-on with STEM concepts.
Camps provide an opportunity for kids to see how science works in the real world. Options include experiments and projects in Video Game Creation, Robotics, Veterinary Science, Crime Scene Investigation, Paleontology, Engineering, Space, Biology, Chemistry, Oceanography, LEGO Robotics, Medicine, Programming, 3-D Printing, Drones and more.
Inspired by the Inductees of the National Inventors Hall of Fame, the programs are designed to impact kids through hands-on activities infused with the spirit of innovation. These immersive enrichment programs are led by local, certified educators and promote STEM concepts, as well as 21st century learning skills such as critical thinking, teamwork and creative problem solving.
Visitors can head outdoors at Chattahoochee Nature Center for nature-inspired tech and tinker stations with the Eco-Tinker exhibit on display through May. There are five STEAM-themed stations to experiment and explore. From snowflakes to feathers, igloos to trees, there are plenty of ways for kids to play while they learn. Attend the Flying into the Future event on March 25 to learn about birds and test tinkering skills with STEM-themed activities, included a birds of prey show.
Children have many opportunities to improve on STEAM skills while visiting the Museum. Daily programs include the Super Spectacular Science Show, the Arts Studio and the Build It Lab. Each permanent exhibit also includes elements of STEAM from the rocket launch pad to the paint wall and the construction house to the science bar. Visit through May to see Healthyville and learn about the human body. Each summer, kids can attend camp at the Museum for more hands-on learning.
Look at arts and science in a new way with Circus Camp, from the talent of balancing and juggling to the creativity of clowning. Kids get to participate in real circus activities including the trapeze, tightrope, juggling, magic and more. Campers get to work with circus professionals to practice circus skills, and then perform in a show at the end of camp.
Campers can focus on drama skills or learn about production design at this summer camp. Themes include “Trolls,” “Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory,” “Moana,” “Lion King,” sketch/improv and more. The Lion King Backstage camp includes helping with props, costumes, sets and stage management.
The High has programs and play areas designed just for kids. The Greene Family Learning Gallery is full of hands-on activities including areas for kids to trace and draw, build sculptures out of foam blocks and cylinders and craft wall art with magnet pieces. Every second Sunday of the month from noon to 5 p.m., families gain free admission and get to experience special family-focused programs. During the camp programs each summer, young artists will explore, create, and showcase their artwork in an exhibition each week.
Kids and teens can learn foundational STEM skills at Georgia Tech and Emory University (and other national locations) in small groups for personalized learning. Campers learn to program, design video games, model and print 3D objects, code apps, mod Minecraft, engineer robots, build websites and more depending on skill level. iD Tech also offers Alexa Cafe, a girls-only tech camp.
Take a look into a real life STEM example by visiting the Johns Creek Environmental Campus. A guided behind-the-scenes tour highlights the water treatment cycle, water conservation and water purification. Learn about what happens to our water before and after we use it. Visit the lab to perform experiments and then go on a tour of the water treatment facility.
This STEM-based camp provides hands-on aviation experience for rising fourth through sixth grade students. Students will be exposed to careers in aviation through field trips to airports and other aviation facilities, including component testing and assembly. The culminating experience will be a team build-off competition, where students will be challenged to build and fly an aircraft they design.
Current gamers and future programmers will learn the language behind games and computer programs with Start Code. Campers will learn coding language and will be able to apply these tools to their interests to create exciting games, stories and digital artwork. Kids and teens will dive into hands-on projects using Python, Processing or Java and will even get to modify a Minecraft world.