Find science camps near you
Canada’s major cities are home to science-oriented camps that combine academic excellence with a wide variety of options, venues and programming. Find your city in the list below and find science camps near you.
Camps focused on specific sciences
We also offer a closer look at summer camps and year-round camps that specialize in specific sciences. Here are several examples of more specific subject focuses:
- Space camps offers kids the opportunity to explore a budding interest in space exploration. Kids can learn some basic astrophysics, meet veterans of spaceflight, and gain hands-on experience with technology, and simply deepen their fascination with space. In a similar vein, kids can get introduced to flying basics and take part in flight simulations at aviation summer camps.
- Kids' STEM camps follow from this rapidly-growing trend, with curriculum that incorporates science but also technology, engineering and math. STEAM mixes in arts. Read more about STEM summer camps and STEAM camps.
- Kids work with animals and pursue studies in zoology at zoo camps for kids, found in Toronto, of course, and also across the country.
- Coding camps give kids an introduction to computer science.
- Robotics camps near you give your teen an introduction to robot engineering and design. And of course, they will build robots and get hands-on experience with robotic technology.
- Zoology camps give kids and teens a chance to deepen their understanding of the animal kingdom.
- Nature camps are tamer than zoo camps and more likely to be found closer to home. These camps are important for kids who want to develop their love of animals and the natural sciences.
Kids and teens with an abiding interest in science, who want to explore that throughout the year will benefit from programs put on at other times of the year, or offering a fuller immersion in scientific curriculum.
Why go to science camp?
Science camps help kids and teens explore their love of specific scientific pursuits, help them clarify career aspirations, and can even give them a head start on a career track. Here’s a full look at reasons that make science camp worthwhile, and why you should explore the full variety of science camps:
Learning opportunities with girls in mind. Camps especially understand the appeal of science for girls, with programming that’s especially appealing to young women. Many camps above exhibit this awareness.
Meet other science geeks. At camp you’ll meet others from the same city who share your love of science. Camp creates a unique environment free of competition (full of fun), where kids share their knowledge and understanding. And make friends, of course.
See scientists in action. Many camps expose kids to real world scientific practicum, taught by scientists already engaged in their field of interest. You get to see science at work, anything from lab work, to veterinary work with animals, to working with museum exhibits, etc. Camp is an ideal way to get introduced to, and explore how science interacts with the “real world.”
Go behind the scenes at cool venues. Related to the above, many camps are on location (at places as varied as universities, zoos, museums, etc.) giving you a glimpse “backstage” at the camp’s venue. This can also be an exciting, unique opportunity for kids, for example at camps held by zoos, museums, etc.
Exposure to a variety of media, tools and games. Camps use a variety of tools, everything from LEGO to robotics to role playing, and other milieu, to make science interesting and teach it at campers’ education levels. Camps create a connection between campers’ interests and the broader world of practical science.
What skills will you learn in science summer camp?
Summer science camps teach kids skills that will help them in their academic — and personal — future. Here’s a brief look. Explore the world through science!
Experiment creation. Many camps take students through steps in experimentation. Of course, this is a critical skill development and experience, exposure to the scientific method in progress. This may not be new to everyone, but through intense exposure, you learn more about how to create your own experiments, and more!
Environmental awareness. All sciences have an abiding interest in conserving the natural world and encouraging this interest in young scientists. Science camps all touch on (if not focus on) essential concepts related to the climate and the natural world. Of course, some camp sessions focus specifically on social and environmental responsibility. Science camp will raise your awareness of perennially relevant issues like humans’ impact on climate, the natural world, etc.
Exploration of the natural world. No matter what stage your child is at, time in a science camp will awaken new interests. This can take many different forms, of course, depending on the camp or session. Some examples we have seen (to name a few) include exploration through LEGO, adventures in natural sciences, or engineering presented at many different levels of learning. The world of science is nearly infinite, and the world of science camps follows suit.
Introduction to the basic sciences: biology, chemistry, physics, astronomy, and geology. Many broad-based science camps encourage kids to survey science essentials. All sciences are interrelated, of course, and any camp will almost certainly expose kids to other studies beyond the one focused on.
Advanced learning. The benefits are common to all science camps. Of course, Our Kids lists many camps with a very specific curriculum that may, as in some cases, be quite advanced, including anything from introduction to medical science, to advanced engineering concepts. Find camps like these by exploring the listings above.
Benefits essential to all camps. On a different hand, all camps (including those above) encourage skills that have nothing to do with science. This includes social interaction, collaboration skills, independence, the increasing confidence in specific areas, and much more. Take a full look at the benefits of camp.
Career trajectories in science
Science is a nearly infinite field of study, and jobs in science run the gamut from lab technician roles up to NASA scientists, tenured science professorships and the like. Here’s a brief survey of different jobs available in the sciences, with a look at the career outlook and salary range:
Agricultural and food science technicians will require a minimum bachelor’s degree, in Canada. In this role, you assist nutritional and agricultural scientists in research projects or product development, etc. As of 2018, this has a median pay of $41,000. The job outlook in this field through 2028 is about a six percent increase per year (average).
Conservation science and forestry is a medium-level income career attracting people who are passionate about the environment and our care for it. In this role, you might work in the deep forest or government conservation land, and manage quality, while monitoring impacts of nearby development, etc. The median pay in this field is $64,000. In Canada, job prospects in this field will grow at about average.
Physicists and astronomers are among the highest paid in the field of science. While very challenging academically, this is a rapidly growing field, with a nine percent increase in jobs available, expected by 2028. Median pay in this field is over $100,000 annually, so it’s also a lucrative career objective. Find astronomy camps listed above that will get you started on this track!
Those are just a few different career trajectories that can be helped along through time spent at science camp.
Finding good science camps
Explore listings on our site to find a wide variety of camps. To learn more in depth, you can meet many camps at the Toronto Camp Expo. There, you can meet camp leaders face-to-face, ask them whatever concerns or questions you have, and learn what you need to know.
Here’s a look at what you might ask them…
Questions to ask science camps
Whether you are at the expo, attending an open house or just talking to camp representatives on the phone, here are questions you should ask:
- What are the takeaways of the camp? What will your child learn? What projects will he or she take home?
- What other programs do they offer that might help your child develop his or her interest at other times of the year?
- What are the qualifications of the instructors — both academically (e.g. what degree level) and professionally (e.g. teaching qualifications)?
- What venue and equipment are used by the camp?
You also need to know what your own and your child’s goals are:
- Is your child interested in a specific science, and do you agree with this focus?
- Are they more focused on developing knowledge or having fun?
- Would they feel more comfortable at a camp where they know fellow campers?
- How open are they to an immersion in learning, as they might get from an overnight science camp?
Find more advice in our advice section:
Sources and further reading
Cesar Harada TED Talk: How I teach kids to love science
Wikipedia on science camps in Canada.