Events & Programs

Virtual Tech Summer Camps

 

General Summer Camp Registration is Open

Members, please continue to use your unique member registration link to register for Summer Camps. Questions? Contact us at (206) 443-2008 or camps@pacsci.org.

“My camper had a great time listening, learning, and especially doing science-minded activities this week! It was very clear how the topic of the day related to the activities, the topics were fun and age-appropriate, and she learned lots of fun facts to share with everyone who will listen :)”

– Nicole P.

“Educators were patient with campers— they stayed calm and worked through issues. As someone who often has to lead adults through new user interfaces, I was amazed by how well the teachers, and campers, did in this less-controlled environment.”

– Jamie B.

“The instructors were fun and laid back. They played games and shared riddles in between activities. It was a great way to engage our kid while we’re working in other rooms.”

– Erica J.

Camps for Curious Minds’ Tech Camps are going virtual! Get ready for hands-on experiences this summer from the comfort of your home.

Each day features different activities to help your camper gain tech and programming skills, as well as ways to connect with other campers in this digital format. Group sizes are kept small and led virtually by two educators so that these at-home experiences are interactive and engaging.

Virtual Tech Camps also include an at-home supply kit to ensure your camper has all the materials they need!

 

2021 Virtual Tech Camps

Browse offerings for 2021 Virtual Tech Camps in the drop downs below. 

2021 Virtual Tech Camps for Grades 2–3

Virtual Tech Camp grade ranges are based on the grade your child will be entering in Fall 2021.

For details and pricing refer to the 2021 Summer Camp Schedule.

Itsy Bitsy Adventures

When: Week 2 (1 – 4 p.m.) | Week 5 (9 a.m. – 12 p.m.) | Week 7 (1 – 4 p.m.)
Do you ever wonder what adventures a bat mixed with a llama would get into? Combine your creativity with basic programming to bring your own animal creation to life using Bitsy programming language. 

 

Storytelling from Scratch

When: Week 4 (9 a.m. – 12 p.m.) | Week 6 (1 – 4 p.m.) | Week 9 (9 a.m. – 12 p.m.)
Bring your art to life! Using puppetry and Scratch animation, tell a story through coding and create characters to build a narrative from beginning to end.

2021 Virtual Tech Camps for Grades 4–5

Virtual Tech Camp grade ranges are based on the grade your child will be entering in Fall 2021.

For details and pricing refer to the 2021 Summer Camp Schedule.

Bit by Bit

When: Week 1 (1 – 4 p.m.) | Week 3 (9 a.m. – 12 p.m.) | Week 6 (9 a.m. – 12 p.m.)
Explore the basics of logic and programming in the world of Minecraft! Learn how to program a robot helper, work together to solve challenges, and build a town using Minecraft Education Edition.

 

Storyboard Animatics

When: Week 2 (9 a.m. – 12 p.m.) | Week 4 – Girls Focused (1 – 4 p.m.) | Week 8 (9 a.m. – 12 p.m.) | Week 10 (1 – 4 p.m.)
Campers will explore programming activities that will help them advance their animation and storytelling skills. Using Scratch, they will create and animate detailed storyboards! 

2021 Virtual Tech Camps for Grades 6–8

Virtual Tech Camp grade ranges are based on the grade your child will be entering in Fall 2021.

For details and pricing refer to the 2021 Summer Camp Schedule.

Art and Animation 

When: Week 1 (9 a.m. – 12 p.m.) | Week 3 (1 – 4 p.m.) | Week 7 – Girls Focused (9 a.m. – 12 p.m.) | Week 9 (1 – 4 p.m.)
Create and animate a story using different artistic media and styles. Campers will explore physical media to create their art and then choose from a variety of animation styles to translate it into a digital animation.

 

Code Crafting

When: Week 5 (1 – 4 p.m.) | Week 8 (1 – 4 p.m.) | Week 10 (9 a.m. – 12 p.m.)
Explore Minecraft Code Builder while learning core programming concepts! Navigate challenging adventures and quickly automate builds with the help of block-based coding and a robotic assistant.

2021 Girls Focused Virtual Tech Camps

Virtual Tech Camp grade ranges are based on the grade your child will be entering in Fall 2021.

For details and pricing refer to the 2021 Summer Camp Schedule.

Grades 4-5 | Storyboard Animatics

When: Week 4 – Girls Focused (1 – 4 p.m.)
Campers will explore programming activities that will help them advance their animation and storytelling skills. Using Scratch, they will create and animate detailed storyboards! 

Grades 6-8 | Art and Animation 

When: Week 7 – Girls Focused (9 a.m. – 12 p.m.) 
Create and animate a story using different artistic media and styles. Campers will explore physical media to create their art and then choose from a variety of animation styles to translate it into a digital animation.

The camps are called ‘girls focused.’ Can a boy enroll if he is interested?
Yes. While these camp sessions are intended for girls and/or gender non-conforming youth, we would never exclude, and have never excluded, a boy from participating in these programs, should he have interest. Campers registering for girls-focused camps, like all of our camps, can select “male” or “female” as options. We are working with our e-commerce system provider to enable selection options for non-binary/non-conforming youth.

Why do you have girls focused camps?
Our girls focused camps were created to focus on gender diversity in STEM and provide learning environments that help girls boost confidence, build supportive friendships, and become inspired by female leaders and role models. We know that stereotypes, social expectations, and lack of representation dissuade girls from pursuing interests in STEM. The mission of our Girls Focused Camp Program is to offer unique experiences that help girls overcome these types of limitations. To ensure everyone has an opportunity to participate, we offer multiple sessions of each camp. Additionally, we spread out our girls focused offerings throughout the 10 weeks of summer and run them concurrently with all-gender camps for each age group. Learn more about PacSci’s Girls and Women in STEM initiative. 

Camp Policies and Information

Be sure to review our 2021 camp policies and information regarding waivers, transfers, cancellations, waitlisting, and more.

General Questions

Can I leave my camper unattended during the virtual camp session? 

Each virtual camp will involve hands-on interactive STEAM activities directed by two PacSci educators. Most of the activities will require minimal adult supervision, but due to the virtual format, parents/guardians will remain solely responsible for ensuring the physical safety of their child during virtual camp sessions. 

There will also be a 15-minute break each day when our educators will not be in visual or verbal communication with campers. PacSci does not recommend leaving your camper unattended during camp sessions. 

What is the role of the educators in camps?

We pride ourselves on our tested hands-on interactive virtual format that our educators are excited to pass on to your campers! 

Each camp has two PacSci educators in the virtual classroom. The Lead Educator is trained to be responsible for running each of the activities for the campers to follow. The Assistant Educator assists the virtual classroom with Zoom management and small group sessions. Each small group session will have one educator or assistant to guide the campers. 

What training do educators receive?

We have found the most successful experience for your camper stems from well-trained educators. Over the course of training, educators strengthen their skills in equitable informal teaching, effective behavior management, and up-to-date procedures for COVID-19. 

Virtual camp educators are also taught to have a keen eye for physical, emotional and interpersonal camper well-being. We also work with partners in our community to offer training in identifying biases in education and best practices to enable access for all abilities. 

Based on what they have learned in training, our educators inspire curiosity in your camper by creatively challenging your camper in a constructive and healthy environment. 

Registration, Waitlist, Transfers & Cancellations

When does registration open?

Member Registration reopens Monday, March 22, 2021. General registration opens Thursday, March 25, 2021.

When is the last day I can sign up for a Virtual Tech camp? 

Registration closes at 11:59 p.m. 12 days before the camp start date (two Wednesdays prior).

What is the waitlist process? 

  • A waitlist  spot only opens up when a registered camper transfers to a new camp or cancels a camp registration. Once this occurs, our system automatically sends an email to the first person on the waitlist.
  • Once notified via email, the first person on the waitlist will have 24 hours to respond to the email in one of two ways: (1) Use the link to register and pay for the camp or (2) Click the link that indicates they are no longer interested in the camp space
  • If the individual doesn’t register for the camp within 24 hours or notify us they are no longer interested, the registration link is disabled and an email is automatically sent to the next person on the waitlist.
  • We do see movement on most waitlists through the summer, but cannot guarantee a spot will become available.

What information do I need to provide in order to attend camp? 

All registered Virtual Camp attendees must sign a waiver form through CampDoc. After registering for camps, you will receive an email invitation to register for CampDoc to complete all required forms and camper information. Download the waiver for review.

How can I transfer to a different camp? 

To transfer your camper to a new camp, first register for the new camp online.* Once registered, email camps@pacsci.org or call (206) 443-2925 to cancel your original camp. There will be no fee for transferring camps and your original camp will be refunded in full (including the non-refundable deposit) after a new camp is booked.  

What is the cancelation policy?  

Requests for withdrawal from camp must be made at least  two weeks  prior to the camp start date.

To cancel your registration, please email  camps@pacsci.org  with your name, camper name, and registration number. Pacific Science Center will retain the $50 deposit fee per each in-person and virtual camp canceled. Should Pacific Science Center or our partners decide to fully cancel a camp, we will process a full refund including the deposit for those registered.

Summer Camp Scholarships

The Camps for Curious Minds Scholarship Program offers youth in grades PreK-8 interested in science education opportunities to participate in one of our week-long summer camp sessions at no cost. 

2021 Summer Camp scholarship applications opens February 22, 2021. 

Qualifications

PacSci offers full scholarships for prospective campers who qualify in any of the following ways: 

  • Free or reduced lunch: Camper qualified for free or reduced lunch program for the 2020-2021 school year. 
  • Foster care: Camper is in the foster care system currently or was during the 2020-2021 school year. 
  • Other government public assistance: Parent/guardian enrolled in the food assistance program (SNAP) or other public assistance programs. 
  • Family Access or Youth Access Membership: A low-income membership in the parent/guardian or camper’s name as of March 2020. 

Scholarship Selection

Scholarship recipients are chosen using a lottery system. Completing an application does not automatically mean you will receive a scholarship. You will be notified on April 7, 2021 of one of three possible outcomes: scholarship recipient, wait-list, or not selected for a scholarship. If you are wait-listed, you will be contacted if a lottery winner chooses not to accept their scholarship or additional scholarship spaces are funded 

Important Dates

  • February 22, 2021: Scholarship application available  
  • March 28 2021: Scholarship application due  
  • April 2, 2021: Scholarship recipients notified 
  • April 7, 2021: Confirmation/acceptance deadline 

To Apply

The application is available on our Camp Scholarship page.

If you are the parent/guardian of multiple children or siblings, please note that one complete application must be submitted for each prospective camper. 

If you have any questions about scholarships, please email camps@pacsci.org, with the subject line “2021 Summer Camp Scholarships”. 

Age/Grade Requirements

Are camps based on the current grade or next year’s grade? 

Camps are based on the grade the camper is going into next school year. 

My camper will be going into ____ grade, but really wants to take (grade above/below) camps. Can I sign up for this camp? 

No. Our camps are designed for the grade range listed. If the camper is too young, the content may be over the camper’s head when in a camp with (highest camp grade in range). If the camper is too old, the content will not be challenging enough and won’t be a good experience for them. We also consider the social impacts of a child being the youngest or oldest in the group. 

What is the staff to camper ratio for virtual camps? How many campers are in each camp? 

Each virtual camp has a maximum of 18 campers with 2 educators to maintain 9:1 ratio 

Technology Requirements

What tech requirements are needed to participate? 

Campers need access to an internet-connected device with Zoom and webcam installed for the duration of the virtual camp. We recommend you download and use the Zoom app instead of the Zoom webpage as the webpage has limited functions.  

  • For campers in the Seattle area, a laptop can be borrowed from the Science Center at no cost, however a security deposit is required. Borrowed laptops must be picked up and dropped off at PacSci. All laptops borrowed will be preloaded with the required software for each camp. 
  • Campers using their own computers will need to ensure that their computer meets all technical specifications listed for the camp and that required programs are downloaded or bookmarked before camp begins. See below for the program requirements for each tech camp offered. 

Can more than one camper participate in camp on one device?
Tech Camps are designed for campers to learn computer-based skills which requires that each camper have their own device in order to get the most from camp.  

We don’t have device(s) for our camper(s) to participate. Are there devices we can use during camps?
A limited number of PacSci laptops are available for use during the week for Seattle area campers if needed to participate in camp. A security hold of $500 will be placed on a credit card. This charge will only be processed if the computer is damaged or not returned. All laptops will need to be picked up the Friday before camp and dropped off the Monday after camp at PacSci between 9:30 a.m. and 4 p.m. Please email camps@pacsci.org to inquire about device availability or more information. 

What does “some coding experience required” mean for the various tech camps?
They should have some exposure to coding language. Any platform or language is fine as long as your child knows the idea behind what coding is. 

If my camper is using their own device, what are the tech requirements and programs needed? 

Forcampers using home computers duringcamps, please check to make sure your device is compatible with and has the following programs downloaded or bookmarked: 

Itsy Bitsy 

  • Internet Browser 
  • Webcam 
  • Zoom 
  • Bitsy  Campers will access through a web browser, and does not need to be downloaded. 

Storytelling from Scratch 

  • Internet Browser 
  • Webcam 
  • Zoom 
  • Scratch 3campers will access from web browser, and does not need to be downloaded. Camper account logins will be provided to campers during our first session. To help our educators support campers when using this program, campers should use these credentials instead of personal logins. 
  • Campers using a tablet often find a keyboard beneficial for coding. 

Bit by Bit 

  • Internet Browser 
  • Webcam 
  • Zoom  
  • MinecraftEducationEdition – this free software needs to be downloaded prior to camp. Camper account logins will be provided to campers during our first session. To help our educators support campers when using this program, campers should use these credentials instead of personal logins. 
  • Device requirements for Minecraft Education Edition download can be found here. 

Storyboard Animatics 

  • Internet Browser 
  • Webcam 
  • Zoom 
  • Scratch 3campers will access from web browser, and does not need to be downloaded. Camper account logins will be provided to campers during our first session. To help our educators support campers when using this program, campers should use these credentials instead of personal logins. 
  • Campers using a tablet often find a keyboard beneficial for coding. 

Art and Animation 

  • Internet Browser 
  • Webcam 
  • Zoom 
  • Scratch 3campers will access from web browser, and does not need to be downloaded. Camper account logins will be provided to campers during our first session. To help our educators support campers when using this program, campers should use these credentials instead of personal logins. 
  • Campers using a tablet often find a keyboard beneficial for coding. 
  • Krita this  free open source program needs to be downloaded prior tocamp. Devicerequirementscan be found here:https://krita.org/en/download/krita-desktop/ 

 Code Crafting 

  • Internet Browser 
  • Webcam 
  • Zoom  
  • MinecraftEducationEdition  this free software needs to be downloaded prior to camp. Camper account logins will be provided to campers during our first session. To help our educators support campers when using this program, campers should use these credentials instead of personal logins. 
  • Device requirements for Minecraft Education Edition download can be found here.  

If your home computer is not compatible with any of the programs above, PacSci does have laptops that can be borrowed for your week incampwitha $500 credit card deposit. 

Can my camper use a tablet or Chromebook for camp or do they need a laptop/desktop? 

While campers can use tablets or Chromebooks, most campers find a laptop or desktop to be easier to use. An external keyboard may also help to make these devices easier to use. 

Supplies

What supplies are provided? 

Laptops may be borrowed from PacSci with a deposit that is refunded when the laptop is returned undamaged. A supply kit containing materials for camp activities is provided to campers at no additional cost. There may be some common office/classroom supplies such as a glue stick and pens that are not included. 

What supplies are not provided? 

Campers may be expected to have the following supplies to participate in our camps. 

  • Scissors 
  • Pencils 
  • Pens 
  • Glue Sticks 
  • Sharpies 
  • Index Cards 
  • Pencil Sharpener 
  • Erasers 
  • Highlighters 
  • Simple Calculator 
  • Hole Punch 

How will I receive the provided supplies? 

Supply kits will be mailed to all campers including Seattle area campers unless a laptop is being borrowed. For campers borrowing a PacSci laptop during camps, supply kits can be picked up at PacSci at the time computers are picked up.  

What safety precautions are taken in preparing the supply kits? 

Our supply team and all PacSci employees are following safety protocol throughout the day. All employees are required to take their temperature before coming to work, wear masks at all times, wash hands often, and are in group sizes of fewer than 10 people when preparing supplies. 

Supplies are prepared two full weeks prior to the camp so that they can sit untouched by staff prior to being received by campers. 

Membership

I’m a member, are there  Summer Camp benefits?  

Yes! As in years past, we are offering members early registration and a $30 camp discount. However, we are doing things a bit differently this year. Early registration for members opens at 11 am on Tuesday, March 16. We will be sending a special member registration link via email on Friday, March 12. Members must register through this link in order to be eligible for early registration and to get the member discount. All members who had active memberships as of March 2020 will be eligible. If you do not receive the link on March 12, please email membership@pacsci.org.

How does the special member registration link work?  

Members can use the direct registration link at any time after 11 am on Tuesday, March 16 to access the $30 per registration discount. In order to receive Summer Camp member benefits during registration, you can either login to your existing membership account or create a new login and add your camper’s information. If you create a second login for an existing account, don’t worry—we will resolve and combine all duplicates.  

What if I don’t get the special member registration link email?  

The email address we have tied to your membership account may be incorrect or you may have opted out of receiving PacSci member emails. If you do not receive the member registration link on Friday, March 12 please email  membership@pacsci.org  to request your direct link.

I’m not a member but I would like to purchase a membership for the Summer Camp benefits. Why can’t I buy a membership right now? 

Pacific Science Center’s onsite operations are currently very limited due to COVID-19. We expect that onsite operations will continue to be very limited well into 2021. As a result, we have suspended all membership sales during this time. We are taking this opportunity to reimagine our membership program and hope you will consider joining the PacSci membership family in the future!  To be the first to know when PacSci resumes selling memberships and to sign up for an exclusive reopening membership offer, please visit our membership webpage.

For questions, please email membership@pacsci.org.

 

Contact Us

We are delighted to be able to offer Summer Camps to our community this summer.  However, we are working with a small staff which may result in a delay in response to emails, phone calls, and voicemails. We appreciate your patience as we work to respond as quickly as possible. 

Email 

Email is the preferred method of communication as many of our staff are working remotely. Staff monitor and respond to emails from 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. M  F. Response times are dependent on email volume. 

  • For questions about camps, registration, health and safety, logistics, etc. please email camps@pacsci.org
  • For questions about membership and the special direct member link, please email membership@pacsci.org

Phone 

Most staff are currently working off-site and will have limited ability to take live calls. We will respond to voicemails from 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. M  F. Response times are dependent on call volume. Please contact us at (206) 443-2008.

If you leave us a voicemail, please clearly state the following information in your message in order to receive the fastest and most accurate response: 

  • Your full name (please spell your last name) 
  • The phone number where we can reach you 
  • Your general availability for a return phone call 
  • The nature of your call 
 

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In-Person Summer Camps

Looking for information about 2021 in-person Summer Camps? See options, session information, and more.

 
 
 

Generous Support Provided By:

Seattle Children's

Additional support comes from more than 1,500 individuals, companies and foundations that donate to Pacific Science Center each year, as well as more than 20,000 member households from every corner of Washington State and around the country. Click here to learn more about ways you can support Camps for Curious Minds and Pacific Science Center.