San Antonio Museum of Science and Technology’s STEM Summer Camp Program

By Iris Gonzalez
An image of four students showing their computing project.

Is your child interested in flying a drone, 3D printing, or shooting a rocket this summer? What if he or she could learn the science and technology needed to do these things in a weeklong summer camp?

Students are welcome to learn at the San Antonio Museum of Science and Technology (SAMSAT), a nonprofit museum founded in 2016 to explore the past, present, and future of technology in San Antonio.  The museum delivers STEM education programs in partnership with area educators and other stakeholders such as SASTEMIC, a nonprofit science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) education advocacy organization that collaborates with local schools to provide STEM-focused educational programs.

The T.J. Natarajan SAMSAT Summer Camp Program each week features a different theme and runs Monday to Friday 9:00 am to 3:00 p.m. Young people will learn about the history behind great inventions that have influenced the course of technology, learn about current applications for the technology, and talk to local experts.

Weekly sessions run from June 18 through August 17 at SAMSAT’s 14,000 sq. ft. center located at Port San Antonio, 102 Mabry Dr. Students are to bring their lunch, with the Museum providing bottled water. Class size ranges from 16 to 20 students per weekly session. The tuition per student for each five-day program is $275.00 and includes all material costs.

To sign up visit this registration link to sign up for one or more summer camp programs.

The week-long summer camp classes include the following.

June 18-22 3D Printing

Age group: High School

Campers will work on printers using free, open source software. The students will learn how to use Tinkercad and CNC, how to create a 3D design, and programming the design correctly to print an object. Campers also get to create their custom-designed T-shirt to take home, as well as any 3D designs they created and any objects printed.

June 25-29 Vintage Gaming and Raspberry Pi

Age group: High School

The Raspberry Pi mini-computer can also be used as a retro video game console and does not require Linux knowledge. Campers will learn how to program a Raspberry Pi as a retro game console complete with old-school controllers and will keep it to take home.

July 2-7 (no program July 4); July 9-13 NASA Space Camp

Age group: Middle School and up

Students will learn about the history of NASA from Friendship 7 to the International Space Station, the first walk on the moon to plans for Mars colonization. A NASA scientist will be on hand to talk to students about astronaut training, and each camper will build and launch a small rocket.

An image of two Tesla coils in front of a group of students
A demonstration of Tesla coils and how they can power fluorescent light bulbs is part of the summer camp program for students when they visit the San Antonio Museum of Science and Technology. Photo credit: Iris Gonzalez.

July 16-20 LEGO Robotics! (Special Summer camp in partnership with Robotics Clubs USA

Age group: 2nd Through 8th Grade

Calling all Robotics Enthusiasts–Robotics Clubs USA is looking for young engineers to help JJ the Robot® get moving. The students work as if they were robotic engineers and are introduced to basic robotic principles and programming logic using the Lego® EV3 Mindstorm® system. Students will explore programming logic and principles through mission-based activities that take JJ® through a series of tasks. Young engineers work in a cooperative environment using engineering principles to become more effective problem solvers. No prior experience is required.

July 23-27 Drone Science

Age group: High School

Campers will learn about drones, how they work, and how to program them, as well as about racing drones. Throughout the week each student will build their drone and receive a programmable drone to take home.

July 30-Aug 3 Tesla and Edison: The Electric Wizards

Age group: High School

Discover remarkable facts about two of the giants in the world of electricity – Thomas Edison and Nikola Tesla – and their very different ideas on electric power. Campers will experience live demonstrations of the famous Tesla Coil, then build one to take home.

Aug 6-Aug 10 Theremins, Synthesizers, and Electronic Music

Age group: High School

Learn about and how to play the Theremin, the very first electronic musical instrument. We will also learn about electronic synthesizers, electronic drums, and hearing, seeing, and analyzing the waveforms of musical tones and chords. Campers will also program musical devices to compose songs and make their recordings, as well as build their very own Theremin to take home.

Aug 13-17 OCTA-TETRA Construction

Age group: Middle School

Work on the concepts of 3-D geometry by making paper and cardstock models, such as the Gyroscope Origami model, Electra Origami model, OCTA-TETRA structures, Swirlies, and more.  Campers can get a preview of the hands-on experience by watching this OCTA TETRA Museum activity YouTube video.

Featured image is of Forester Elementary students Aiden Gallardo, 9, Makai Burns, 8, Sergio Gomez, 9, and Joshua Garza, 9 showing their computing exhibit project during their visit to SAMSAT. Photo credit: Iris Gonzalez

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