Discover STEM Camps

Welcome to our most popular camps! Discover STEM camps are high-energy, diverse in curriculum, and epitomizes the idea of hands-on, engaging learning. Students will build robots, 3D print their own designs, create their own crafty robots, code a virtual reality, and so much more!

This year we are offering sixteen different camps from June - August! Many of our camps will be divided into two divisions based on incoming grade level. We have decided to create these divisions to provide the best camp experience for your kids. By creating a smaller age range, students can be surrounded by similar ages and experience levels. This will allow us to target age groups better, and provide appropriate challenges and tasks. Discover STEM camps are divided into:

  • Division I: Incoming 3rd - 5th
  • Division II: Incoming 5th - 8th

All camps run Monday - Thursday. Friday Tinker Day is available for separate registration. 

Program Cost: $395

Locations:

  • Claremont McKenna College - Kravis Center
    • This location splits most Discover Level camps into Division I and Division II
  • STEM Center USA - Rancho Cucamonga 
    • This location runs only one division of Discover Camps. Many Rancho Cucamonga camps are inclusive of age groups 4th - 8th grade. Since the age range is larger, camp sizes will be smaller (max of 16) and students will be grouped in sections based on their age/grade. 

Time: 9:00 AM - 3:00 PM

Extended Care: AM and PM extended care options are available from 7:30 AM to 9 AM & 3:00 PM - 5:00 PM

Descriptions of Each Discover Camp


Build-a-Bot: Crafty Robots & Coding

What is a robot? How can you make one? Do all robots use Legos or metal pieces?

These are all very good (and common) questions! Build-a-Bot has students go through the entire design process from start to finish. Students will:

  • Sketch their own design
  • Go through a material selection process
  • Prototype a robot
  • Build the robot
  • Add electronic components such as LEDs, motors, and sensors
  • Code your robot to bring it to life

This camp is a very unique program that truly combines the design process with robotics, crafting, and coding. Merging technology and tradition, students bring life to their creations by connecting sensors and motors to recyclable materials. Students will learn to use positional servo motors and DC motors (and the differences between them!) along with LEDs (light emitting diodes), tri-color LEDs, and vibration motors. To program their robots, a Hummingbird micro-controller is used to interface with software including Scratch! Past projects include robotic birds, LED fire-breathing dragons, and servo-powered tigers. So what are you waiting for? Let's get coding and crafting!

Date Name Incoming Grades Location
6/10 - 6/13 Build-a-Bot: Crafty Robots & Coding 4th - 8th Rancho Cucamonga
6/24 - 6/27 Build-a-Bot: Crafty Robots & Coding 3rd - 5th Claremont McKenna
7/8-7/11 Build-a-Bot: Crafty Robots & Coding 5th - 8th Claremont McKenna

Build-a-Bot: Crafty Robots & Coding is featured in Division I and Division II of the Discover Level camps. The separated divisions allow students to move at an appropriate pace with the rest of the class. Division II will move at an accelerated pace and end with large scale final projects. 

Coding & Game Design

Love to game? Interested in making your own ideas come to life? Let’s take your skills to the next level and show you how to design and make your own games!

Learn the basics of game design…by making your own games! Students will code in Scratch to design computer and web-based games that involve keyboard interactions, gravity manipulation, and intermediate coding skills! Games include:

  • Etch-a-Sketch
  • Maze Race
  • Dodger Game
  • Platform Jumping Game
  • DIY Stories
  • Interactive Quiz Game
  • Final Project

Over the course of four days, students will learn to story-board their ideas, and then translate them to life using step-by-step coding techniques. All students will work individually on their own projects - so it will be a 1:1 student/laptop ratio. On the final day of camp, students will work on their final project that will include the following coding concepts:

  • Broadcasting Messages
  • Variables
  • Multiple Backdrops
  • Gravity
  • Conversations between Characters

Last year, we saw students create incredible, detailed projects that ranged from Star Wars adventures to a Dodger vs Angel Baseball game. Bring your child's creativity by encouraging them to code their own games! Check out the schedule below for the two Discover Divisions:

Date Name Incoming Grades Location
7/8 - 7/11 Coding & Game Design 4th - 8th Rancho Cucamonga
7/22 - 7/25 Coding & Game Design 5th - 8th Claremont McKenna
7/29 - 8/1 Coding & Game Design 3rd - 5th Claremont McKenna

Due to the nature of the class, parents can expect Division II to move faster and end with more complex games. Whereas, Division I (3rd - 5th) will be focused on building a strong foundation in Scratch coding and understanding how to use variables and key programming concepts. Both Divisions will end with a final project. If you have an incoming 5th grader and are unsure which camp to place them, please give us a call!

Code-a-Bot: Adventures in Programming (3rd - 5th)

 Explore with Sphero, Dash, OzoBot, and more!

Do you love robots? How about ones that talk, follow you, change colors, and more! This camp features some of the most popular, exciting robots out there! Each day, students will focus on two robots. They will learn about the robots' sensors, programming interface, and then take part in a series of coding challenges. Check out some of the upcoming missions in this camp:

  • Dash: This robot is perfect for students of all ages! Start with introductory commands to simply move Dash back and forth. Then, quickly increase the challenge level by using the voice, object, and sound sensors. Program Dash to avoid obstacles, navigate a maze, and even pick up objects through a Lego building challenge. Even learn to "walk Dash" by having it follow your voice!
  • Ozobot Evo: Don't let the size deceive you! This little robot comes with an incredible amount of sensors and coding capabilities. As the newest version in the Ozo family, we are excited to feature this in camp! Using its bluetooth capability, code Evo with Ozoblockly or using unique color codes. Learn about the proximity sensor and then use it to avoid obstacles in Evo's path. 
  • Sphero: Program LEDs to create images, change color based on speed, and follow various tracks. Learn how to program using loops, if blocks, and special text-to-speech blocks. Then, play a game of "soccer" with your Sphero's as you take on the rest of the classroom! 
Date Name Incoming Grades Location
7/15 - 7/18 Code-a-Bot: Adventures in Programming 3rd - 5th Claremont McKenna

This camp is only offered for Division I, 3rd - 5th graders. 

Create Your Own Virtual Reality

Step into a new dimension by creating your own virtual reality!

We are thrilled to launch this brand new camp! Discover, explore, design, and experience your own 3D creations in VR. Students will go through an interactive design process where they will literally breathe life into their environments through Blockly code. Every character will be programmed to move, fly, jump, whatever you can imagine! 

Students will:

  • Use an intuitive toolbox to create their own 3D characters, buildings, and scenes
  • Experiment with 3D modeling
  • Develop spatial skills
  • Bring their characters to life using a graphical interface
  • Experience their worlds using 360 degree virtual environments
  • Create various scenes that will be shared with fellow campers

We've all heard of virtual reality, but creating and coding it in person is an entirely different experience! After students have completed their realities, they will be able to use our smart phones (or their own if they have it) to download an app and try it with a take-home cardboard VR headset. We love this camp because discovering and exploring 3D creations in VR can add value to any learning experience. Seeing things come to life is a a major motivation factor, as it enables students to get immersed in their creations.

Date Name Incoming Grades Location
7/15 - 7/18 Create Your Own Virtual Reality 5th - 8th Rancho Cucamonga
8/5 - 8/8 Create Your Own Virtual Reality 5th - 8th Claremont McKenna

This camp is expected to fill up quickly, so register ASAP! Students must be an incoming 5th - 8th grader to take this camp. 

Discover Robotics

Our most popular camp! Discover Robotics is a cornerstone of STEM Center USA's camps. This introductory camp is designed for students interested in learning more about robotics! Each participant will build and program their own robot in this hands-on, high-energy class. Campers will be introduced to various machine elements, sensors, motors, and programming through our learn-by-doing process. Students will complete a variety of missions incorporating usage of their different sensors (such as ultrasonic, color and touch). Students will use a graphical programming interface to autonomously control their creations and learn the basics of programming logic. Programming and building challenges include:

  • Detect Various Colors 
  • Avoid Obstacles
  • Follow a Black Line
  • Create a pick-up and drop-off cargo program
  • Obstacle Course
  • Sumo Battle

On the fourth day of camp, students will demonstrate their robots to parents on the final day in a culminating and exciting Sumo Challenge. The Sumo Challenge is a high-energy event where students "battle" their robots in ring and show off their building designs and programming skills!

Date Name Incoming Grades Location
6/3 - 6/6 Discover Robotics 3rd - 8th Rancho Cucamonga
6/17 - 6/20 Discover Robotics 3rd - 8th Claremont McKenna
7/12 - 7/15 Discover Robotics 3rd - 8th Claremont McKenna

Discover Robotics groups incoming students in 3rd - 8th into one camp. However, campers will be paired with a student similar to their age/grade. Students work in groups of two to build their robot, program it, and complete the challenges. By sharing and working in a pair, students are able to build their teamwork skills, learn to communicate effectively, and bounce ideas off one another. 

This year we are providing two Discover Robotics camps at Claremont McKenna. Last year, our June camp was the first to sell out - so we've provided a July camp to accommodate family vacations and the high demand of this course! The June and July camps will be a repeat of material. 

Discover Robotics with VEX IQ

The VEX IQ platform is perfect for our student builders and programmers! This course is designed for students in 5th grade and above due to the complex building components. With several motors and a large claw, this is a dream robot! Program your remote control to pick up a water bottle, stack blocks, and compete in the robot version of flag football. Students will learn to program their robot using the VEX graphical language. Programming challenges will include:

  • The Chameleon Challenge - use the color sensor to detect a reflected light and then clone that color
  • Obstacle Avoidance - use the ultrasonic sensor to avoid objects or escape out of a room
  • Touch and Turn - create fun and unique programs that make your robot change color, turn, and "run away" as soon as the touch sensor is pressed
  • Claw Challenge - can you stack three cubes on top of each other? Master your remote control skills with the impressive VEX IQ claw
  • and more!
Date Name Incoming Grades Location
6/24 - 6/27 Discover Robotics with VEX IQ 5th - 8th Claremont McKenna
7/22 - 7/25 Discover Robotics with VEX IQ 4th - 8th Rancho Cucamonga

This camp will focus on building skills and challenges for the first day of camp. Students will work in groups of 2-3 as they design their own pendulum, build a lever, etc. Afterwards, campers will build their Clawbot and then program it during days 2 - 4. 

Game Design with Roblox

Roblox is the largest social platform that allows students to create and play in immersive 3D worlds. With over 29 million user-generated online games, the platform has a massive outreach to students all over the world. More and more kids are excited to play games and try out all the Roblox features. Rather than a random series of games, this camp will help guide and engage students in the world of game development. Using the Lua coding language, students will:

  • Learn basic programming commands
  • Create 3D worlds
  • Expand characters/worlds using Lua functions
  • Create custom actions and conditions
  • Learn programming concepts like loops, conditionals, arrays, and inheritance
  • Understand and execute proper privacy settings
  • Understand and execute proper multi-player settings

This camp is designed for beginner and some intermediate users of Roblox. Students will spend the week getting familiar with the environment, dragging-and-dropping code to create actions, and then customizing it with Lua. Students will complete the week with multiple games that they can take home!

Date Name Incoming Grades Location
7/29 - 8/1 Game Design with Roblox 5th - 8th Claremont McKenna

This camp is only open to Division II, incoming 5th - 8th graders.

Girls' Week

Empowering our young lady engineers! This week is dedicated to our ladies in STEM. The camp will be led by our all female staff, and feature special projects, crafty robots, and wearable electronics. Parents have the option of putting their daughter in this camp, which focuses heavily on a strong, empowering environment of STEM activities. Projects will include the following:

  • Creative Robotics - combine LEDs, wires, and craft materials to make a robot
  • Hammer & Nail Art - learn how to use tools in a safe environment and then take home your own wood & art creations
  • Clock Making - learn about gears and then design your own clock
  • Circuit Cards - explore the world of electronics and create your own take-home, light-up card
  • Wearable Design & Fashion - design your own light-up clothes by using conductive thread, LEDs, and sensors
  • Coding & Game Design - code your own game that features a strong role model

We are excited to offer two sessions of Girls' Week, one at each of our camp locations. See below for details!

Date Name Incoming Grades Location
6/17 - 6/20 Girls' Week 4th - 8th Claremont McKenna
7/29 - 8/1 Girls' Week 3rd - 8th Rancho Cucamonga

Depending on the activity, students will work individually or in groups of two. For all take-home projects, every girl will work individually. 

Makers' Series

Join our Makers' Series to learn how to use tools, make DIY crafty robots, and create your own custom inventions. This camp explores everything from Computer Aided Design (CAD) to the design process for hammer & nail art. Projects include brush-bots, catapults, 3D printed keychains and fidget spinners, soft circuits, and unique final projects. We highly recommend this high-energy, project-oriented class for anyone interested in exploring the world of STEM and inventions!

Last year, our Makers' camps were in high demand and sold out quickly! This year we are offering four Makers' sessions to accommodate more students AND introduce new projects. If your child is excited to build, loves to take things apart (and maybe put them together again!), and eager to create unique projects - this is the camp for them! Each camp is unique, so students can sign up for multiple ones if they are interested! 

Date Name Incoming Grades Location
6/10 - 6/13 Makers I 3rd - 8th Claremont McKenna
6/24 - 6/27 Makers I 4th - 8th Rancho Cucamonga
7/22 - 7/25 Makers II 3rd - 5th Claremont McKenna
8/5 - 8/8 Makers III 3rd - 5th Claremont McKenna

Incoming grades vary per camp due to the Discover Divisions at Claremont McKenna. This will allow students to work among similar aged students and progress at an appropriate pace. 

3D Modeling, Designing, & 3D Printing

Bring your creations to life! Learn to take a sketch, model it, then 3D print it!

Learn to make your own 3-dimensional (3D) models using Computer Aided Design (CAD)! Young inventors will learn the proper methods to sketching and drafting. Then, students will take their design skills up a notch by learning two different modeling softwares. Students will learn proper modeling techniques. Topics learned include:

  • Spatial orientations & rotations
  • How to use a caliper 
  • Designing 45 degree angle objects
  • Plastics used for modeling (ABS, SLA, PLA)
  • Using the metric system
  • Effective usage of work planes
  • Isometric Drawings

3D printers will be on-site at the camp. Students will learn how the 3D printers work and see it in action - as they print student projects! Student projects will include:

  • Keychains
  • Fidget spinners
  • Bookmarks
  • Pencil holders
  • and more!

Students will work individually on a laptop. We will provide laptops for all students, however students are encourage to bring their own laptop if they have one. We will help install proper software, which will allow campers to continue working on their projects once camp has ended. 

Date Name Incoming Grades Location
6/17 - 6/20 3D Modeling, Designing, & 3D Printing 4th - 8th Rancho Cucamonga
7/8 - 7/11 3D Modeling, Designing, & 3D Printing 3rd - 5th Claremont McKenna
7/15 - 8/18 3D Modeling, Designing, & 3D Printing 5th - 8th Claremont McKenna
Division I will focus more on TinkerCAD, and creating simple shapes. Once students have gone through the introduction, they will create their own keychains, bookmarks, and final projects. Division I is perfect for students that are new to 3D modeling and interested in learning more about it. Whereas Division II will spend a significant period of time sketching, learning how to draw section views, and then modeling in SketchUp and TinkerCAD. Division II projects will be more intricately designed due to the modeling techniques learned in this division.