Searching for a tech camp?

Choosing a technology camp for your child can be a challenge, with options nearly as endless as the kinds of technology in our world. Costs vary from free to more than a thousand dollars a week for some overnight camps, so it pays to do some research before signing up.

Try tapping into the Internet to search for a technology camp. Also, be sure to talk to other parents, and check out your local school district and community education options for summer camps. Many colleges, businesses, and museums also offer summer technology camps, too.

Here are just a few technology camp options in the Twin Cities:

Technology Day Camp
was created five years ago to demystify technology and explore college and technology careers for students who typically don’t get high-level technology experiences. Sponsored by the U of M’s Center for Distributed Robotics, camp is held for one week and is free to qualified middle school students. For more information, visit TechCamp.cs.umn.edu or e-mail Nathaniel Bird at [email protected].

Computer Geek U exposes high school students to the IT industry and gives them hands-on technical experience to learn the inner workings of computers. Completion earns students the first step towards an A+ certification. A joint effort of Inver Hills Community College and St. Paul Connections, the program costs campers just $1. Computer Geek U is an outreach of the Center for Strategic IT & Security, a nonprofit organization seeking to ensure enough people are available for technical careers in the future. For more information, visit MNITCareers.org and click on "Explore."

STEPS (Science Technology Engineering Preview Summer Camp) introduces technology and engineering to girls who are starting seventh grade in the fall. Participants manufacture and fly a radio-controlled airplane during this free, overnight camp. Applicants are accepted at random for the four, one-week sessions at the University of St. Thomas. Visit: StThomas.edu/engineering/steps or contact Jacki Kubal, 651-962-5750, [email protected].

The Works, a hands-on science and technology museum in Edina, offers half-day "Tech Starter" camps where 5- to 7-year-olds "investigate circuits and build a motor-powered boat" and explore technology in other ways. Older students can sign up for a Lego Robotics Camp. Costs in 2008 varied from $95 for the three-day Tech Starter to $165 for a five-day Lego Robotics camp. Visit TheWorks.org or 952-848-4848.