Choose Museum of Science and Industry Summer Camps for STEAM Learning

At the iconic Museum of Science and Industry’s summer camps, kids learn STEAM concepts, engage with world-class educators and see the museum in a whole new way.

Most Chicagoans are aware of the amazing and innovative exhibits offered at the Museum of Science and Industry. What you might not know is that the museum offers incredible youth programming year-round for kids who want to explore the concepts of STEAM: science, technology, engineering, art and math.

Kids shouldn’t worry if they feel like math or science aren’t their best subjects. According to Rabiah Mayas, the museum’s Vice President of Education, Partnerships and Community, you don’t have to be an “expert” to enjoy the museum’s camp offerings.

“No scientific experience is required, just an interest in learning, asking questions and having fun,” says Mayas.

Innovative, convenient programming engages young minds

Museum of Science and Industry summer camps and youth programming are focused on kids in fifth through ninth grades — a critical time when students are finding out what subjects interest them. A variety of topics are available, and scheduling is designed to fit into campers’ schedules.

Camps can last for just a day, a few days, or a week.

“A fifth grader may absolutely be formulating ideas about what they might want to do as a career,” Mayas says. “When they are exposed to exciting STEAM programs like ours, they get a meaningful learning experience prior to high school, and that can help kids realize their innate potential.”

Photo credit: Museum of Science and Industry

Some of the museum’s most popular youth programs are found at the Wanger Family Fab Lab.

Fab Lab programs vary in length, but they have one thing in common: access to the incredible scientific equipment at the museum which allows campers to do everything from making digital embroidery to creating music through circuit bending to building robotics.

“Our campers learn by doing, experimentation, prototyping and even from error. We don’t shy away from the fact that STEAM is challenging, detail-focused and technical. We want to help participants work together to problem solve, learn and ask for help. We want kids to know that maybe you can’t do this challenging thing yet, but let’s practice and you will get it,” says Mayas.

Unique choices for Museum of Science and Industry summer camps

Science Exploration Days are another way kids can experience topics like engineering, space science and health science. Each of these one-day programs provides participants with hands-on activities and access to incredible technology.

“Our Health Science campers use a human patient simulator usually only available in medical and nursing schools to treat and diagnose medical issues,” Mayas explains. “We’re one of the only museums to offer guests the ability to explore that equipment.

Photo credit: Museum of Science and Industry

Explorer Camps are available in the winter, spring and summer and offer kids interdisciplinary activities in the areas of science, art and engineering. Kids can engage in indoor and outdoor projects at the museum, making the most of the proximity to Lake Michigan and allowing kids an up-close look at not only the museum’s interior but also its beautiful grounds.

“Our camps let kids really get to know the museum,” says Mayas. “We want them to feel like the Museum of Science and Industry is their museum.”

Outstanding benefits for museum campers and families

Besides being taught by talented faculty and leaders in their fields, the MSI campers’ access to labs, studios and high-tech equipment creates a sense of excitement and wonder.

“Parents tell us that their kids are really excited to talk about what they learned in the camp that day and we love that. That enthusiasm is how you build lifelong learners,” says Mayas.

Whether your kids are super-excited about science and STEAM, or just want to learn more about different topics, Mayas’ experience tells her that all kids can get a lot from MSI camps.

“We lead with science at the museum, and we also want kids to connect to their own passions and interests,” she explains. “Our overall goal is to help youth learn that they can do difficult things and be successful.”

Learn more about the Museum of Science and Industry summer camps. Discover topics and find registration information at

Jennifer Kales
Jennifer Kales
Content editor Jennifer Kales has been in the business of writing for more than 20 years creating advertising copy, blogs, books and everything in between. She loves helping Chicago Parent clients tell their stories in a way that resonates with audiences.


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