What kid in their right mind would want to do math and science on the weekend? Surprise: yours!
Plenty of Southland venues offer irresistible classes, camps and festivals to engage all sorts of kids in the fields of Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM).
On any given weekend, your kids can build robots, experiment with 3D printers, dig for fossils, dabble in marine biology, design video games, launch rockets and much more, learning in the process that math and science are super fun.
STEM (and STEAM, including Arts) are part of a big push by educators to tap into kids’ imaginations, raise a new generation of innovative thinkers and prepare boys and girls from all backgrounds for successful careers in high-demand fields.
Get your kids hooked at one of these upcoming events. Book a fun STEM summer camp now with Kidsguide’s CampGuide. Plan your own Mad Science birthday party with Kidsguide’s Parties Directory. And don’t miss Kidsguide’s STEM Directory and Arts & Crafts Directory for even more STEAMy activities.
1. City of STEM Science Festival in Downey
April 1-30: All month long, learn and play with your family and discover the exciting world of science, technology, engineering and math with special activities, presentations, food trucks and entertainment. From programs aimed at young families, like a science movie night, to an event geared specifically for young adults called Pub Science, the City of STEM aims to engage the whole community. This is LA’s only and largest science festival with its main event taking place on Saturday, April 22. That day from 10 a.m. – 5 p.m., the free Big Science Fest brings hands-on activities and nearly two dozen science partners to the Space Center, including SpaceX, the Natural History Museum and Aquarium of the Pacific.
12400 Columbia Way, Downey
2. Star Party at Griffith Observatory
April 1: Look at the sun, moon, visible planets, and other objects, try out a variety of telescopes and talk to knowledgeable amateur astronomers about the sky and their equipment. Saturday, 2-9:45 p.m. Free.
2800 E. Observatory Road, Los Angeles
3. Long Beach RoboTech Festival
April 2: This free public event sponsored by Shared Science will feature robotics, science, technology, engineering and math-related learning, coinciding with the national initiative through www.nationalroboticsweek.org (register online to save a spot in one of the workshops). Bring your robot guest, enter in the Robot Talent Contest, participate in Robot Art and demonstrate your Walk Like A Robot skills. Sunday, 11 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Long Beach City College, 4901 E. Carson St.
4. USC Robotics Open House
April 7: Celebrating National Robotics Week, USC Viterbi School of Engineering hosts a free open house for all ages. Learn more about USC’s robotics programs. Friday, 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. Free. Registration required for groups of 10 and more.
3710 McClintock, Los Angeles
5. Imaginology STEAM Festival at OC Fair
April 21-23: Imaginology at the OC Fair & Event Center creates a stimulating world in which youth of all ages can explore the professional fields of science, technology, engineering and more. Through hands-on workshops and exhibits, children can discover their abilities in S.T.E.A.M. (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics) and agricultural fields that can be applied to future career possibilities. Friday, 9 a.m.- 3 p.m.; Saturday and Sunday, 10 a.m.- 5 p.m. Free admission. Parking: Friday, free; Saturday and Sunday, $8. Note: Friday is Field Trip day, but also open to the public.
88 Fair Drive, Costa Mesa
6. STEAM Carnival in Irvine
April 22: Attend the 3rd Annual STEAM Carnival, hosted by Irvine Public Schools Foundation (IPSF), who also celebrates their 20th anniversary. This event is designed for kids of all ages to spark their interest in Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics (STEAM). Designed to bring a positive and fun learning experience, this event will feature hands-on STEAM activities, including discovering game mechanics with human foosball, learning how a fuel cell works, tinkering with robots, going on a LEGO Scavenger Hunt, art activities, an animal exhibit, photo booth, live performances, and more. Saturday, 2-7 p.m. Adults and kids (4-17). $5; VIP, $40; tickets available on their site. Great Park.
13782 Jamboree Road, Irvine
7. Dig It! Archaeology Adventures at the Skirball
Weekends: In a hands-on, simulated dig, kids experience the ancient Near East, learning methods for excavating a site and the importance of preserving archaeological artifacts. Saturdays and Sundays, 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. (last entry at 4:30 p.m.), weather permitting. Included with Museum admission; no reservations.
480 North Arroyo Blvd., Pasadena
9. Community Day at Back Bay Science
Sundays: Tour the facility, including the loop trail and marine life. Learn about BBSC Education Programs and Public Involvement Opportunities. Kids will even have the chance to participate in fun hands on activities to help them learn more about the ocean. No Reservations Required! 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. Free.
600 Shellmaker Island, Newport Beach