Discover STEM Camps

Welcome to our most popular camps! Discover STEM camps are high-energy, diverse in curriculum, and epitomize 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 several different camps from June - August! Our Discover Camps range in age level with some camps focused on 3rd - 5th graders, others on 5th - 9th graders, and others combined! We have decided to create these grade range divisions based on the course topic to provide the best camp experience for your kids.

All camps run Monday - Thursday. Friday Tinker Days will be available for separate registration soon!

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. 
  • Rancho Cucamonga Community Centers

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
7/6 - 7/9 Build-a-Bot: Crafty Robots & Coding 3rd - 8th Claremont McKenna, Claremont

 

Coding & Game Design with Scratch

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! 

Date Name Incoming Grades Location
6/8 - 6/12 Coding and Game Design with Scratch
3rd - 6th VIRTUAL

 

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

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 continue offering this in demand 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.

Additionally, we are excited to be incorporating augmented reality into this camp. Imagine drawing your own picture on paper, and then seeing it come to life literally in front of you! Students will learn how AR softwares work, and experience it first hand. 

Date Name Incoming Grades Location
6/28 - 7/3 Create Your Own Virtual Reality  3rd - 6th  VIRTUAL/HYBRID 
7/27 - 7/30 Explore VR & AR 3rd - 6th Claremont McKenna
8/3 - 8/6 Create Your Own Virtual Reality 5th - 9th Claremont McKenna

This camp is expected to fill up quickly, so register ASAP!  

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
6/15 - 6/19 Discover Robotics 3rd - 8th VIRTUAL/HYBRID

 

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. 

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
7/13 - 7/16 Game Design with Roblox 5th - 9th Claremont McKenna
8/3 - 8/6 Game Design with Roblox & Discover AR 3rd - 5th Claremont McKenna

 

Girls' Week

Empowering our young female 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
7/13 - 7/16 Girls Week: Makers and Coders 4th - 8th Rancho Cucamonga
7/20 - 7/23 Girls' Week: Maker Girls 4th - 9th Claremont McKenna
7/27 - 7/30 Girls' Week: Coding and Robotics 5th - 9th Claremont McKenna

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

Makers' Camp

Join our Makers' Camp 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! 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 who attended last year can join us again!

Date Name Incoming Grades Location
- Makers' Camp 3rd - 5th Claremont McKenna
- Maker's Camp 4th - 8th  Rancho Cucamonga 

 

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 encouraged 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
- 3D Modeling, Designing, & 3D Printing 5th - 9th -
Students will focus on creating simple shapes on TinkerCAD. Once students have gone through the introduction, they will create their own keychains, bookmarks, and final projects. This class is perfect for students that are new to 3D modeling and interested in learning more about it.

Game Design with Minecraft

 Love to game? Love Minecraft? 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 modify your own games on the popular Minecraft gaming platform!

Learn the basics of game design and build in-demand STEM skills while getting to play in your favorite video game interface! Students will code their own levels and games as well as build their own environments and adventures. Use your creativity and design skills to make mind-blowing maps and unique characters; plus, enhance your game-play by gaining expertise in coding with command blocks and creating new structures and resource packs.

Students in this camp can look forward to:

  • Designing their own characters
  • Constructing their own environments 
  • Creating intriguing conversations, storylines, and adventures
  • Goal setting and storyboarding to integrate critical thinking skills into game play
  • Learning how to create resource packs
  • Discovering other map enhancements and game modifications 


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.

Date Name Incoming Grades Location
6/22 - 6/26 Coding and Game Design with Minecraft 3rd - 6th VIRTUAL
7/13 - 7/16 Game Design with Minecraft 3rd - 5th Claremont McKenna

 

Discover Robotics: Take-home mBot

The mBot is the perfect robot for beginners, as it makes learning robot programming simple and fun! With a screwdriver and step by step instructions, students can build a robot from scratch and experience the joys of hands-on creation. Throughout camp, students will learn about a variety of robotic machinery and electronic parts including distance and color sensors. By completing various challenges with their robots, students will also gain expertise with block-based graphical programming. Best of all, students get to take home their mBots at the end of camp to continue developing their logical thinking and design skills!

Students will:

  • Customize their own robot build
  • Learn basic graphical coding commands
  • Program their mBot to move and navigate obstacles
  • Use the mBot's sensors to complete challenges 

Challenges students will program their mBots to execute include:

  • Line following races
  • Cargo drop off challenges
  • Obstacle courses
Date Name Incoming Grades Location
6/15 - 6/19 Discover Robotics with mBot 3rd - 6th VIRTUAL
7/6 - 7/9 Discover Robotics: Take-home mBot 3rd - 8th Rancho Cucamonga
7/20 - 7/23 Discover Robotics: Take-home mBot 3rd - 8th Claremont McKenna

There is an additional $30 material fee for this course to partially cover the cost of the mBot. This allows us to send the robot that your student built and programmed home with them as they work with the kits on a 1:1 basis.