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Cool ASU summer programs bring on learning — and fun

Girls build robots at Lego camp

At the First LEGO League camps, students learn to design, engineer and make things move. Photo by Nick Narducci/ASU

April 19, 2017

With summer vacation fast approaching, students of all ages are invited to experience the excitement of Arizona State University while they’re still in elementary, middle or high school.

From kindergarten prep to video game and robotics camps, ASU Summer Enrichment experiences offer children of all age levels a chance to explore, discover and socialize with peers from across the Valley and around the state who share their interests and goals. 

Read more: See photos from last summer's camps. 

“Students can choose from hundreds of fun, interactive summer enrichment and college readiness programs that will not only pique their interests, but will also help them think about their future and begin paving the way to a successful college experience,” said Lorenzo Chavez, director of Family and Student Initiatives with Access ASU.

Here’s a quick look at 10 ways K-12 students can spend the summer at ASU:

1. Fast track your college experience

Summer Experience at West is an academic enrichment program that demystifies the academic process and builds confidence in rising ninth- through 12th-grade students preparing for college admission and success. Participants can choose from a day or residential program where they will engage and connect with their peers within interactive learning communities as they collaborate on a group poster presentation and explore the many resources and services available at the ASU to support their college success.

Summer Experience at West 1

Summer Experience at West 2

2. First LEGO League Jr.

It’s never too early to discover STEM! This half-day camp is an introduction to the world of engineering. Students will learn to design, engineer and make things move — all with LEGOS. Teams explore a real-world scientific program and construct a motorized model of what they learned. Teamwork, the wonders of science and technology, and core values including respect, sharing and critical thinking are elements of the program.

3. What’s better than playing video games? Designing them!

Why just play video games when you can learn to create and produce your own? Hosted by the Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering, Game Camp is a unique, hands-on opportunity for middle and high school students to learn intensive video game creation, visualization and production. Students will use the latest software, hardware and development tools to create concepts and prototypes for 2-D and 3-D video gaming. Student to instructor ratios are very low in game camp, Professor Kobayashi and one TA for every 10 students makes it a focused, individual experience.

  • Grades: 7–11
  • When: High school students, 8:30 a.m.–4:30 p.m. June 5–16 (weekdays); middle school students, 8:30 a.m.–4:30 p.m. June 19–30 (weekdays)
  • Where: Tempe campus
  • Cost: $650
  • Deadline: May 1
  • Contact: 480-965-1349 or

4. To the Moon, Mars, and Beyond!

Explore space for real! Fourth- through sixth-grade students are invited to join a team of scientists and engineers in the ASU School of Earth and Space Exploration as they explore missions, spacecraft and instruments used to find the largest canyons, deepest craters and highest volcanoes in our solar system. Participants will learn about past, current and future NASA missions and visit science operations centers on ASU's Tempe campus while designing and building their own spacecraft for a mission to a planetary body.

5. Get with the Program: Intro to Coding (Beginning and Intermediate)

Basic programming skills help children understand how technology works while teaching problem-solving, design and math skills valuable for creating games, engineering projects and master works of art. Whether your student’s long-term interest is game design or creating lifesaving biomedical devices, this camp offers beginners a fun, basic understanding of coding and how early introduction to computer science is an investment in the future.

6. ASU 7Up RobotCamp

This camp is designed for students entering grades 7 and 8. Students will start to learn programming using the Alice programming environment with 3-D animation, movie and game development. Then, students will design and construct robots, learn EV3 robotics programming, and participate in the robotics challenge at the level of difficulty similar to FIRST Lego League (FLL) Robotics Competition.

7. Ready, Set, K!

For children entering kindergarten in the fall, expert teachers will introduce participants to the routines, academic procedures, expectations and skills they need for a smooth transition into today’s kindergarten classroom.

8. Where art meets engineering this summer

ASU’s Digital Culture Summer Institute will challenge both the artistic and technical sides of middle school and high school students in a series of short, project-focused classes ranging from producing digital music to coding for games to 3-D printing and projection mapping. Hands-on access to fast computers with tons of professional media software, media equipment including cameras, field audio recorders and projectors and a fully equipped fabrication lab with laser cutters and 3-D printers makes this unique camp an experience for future makers, artists, entrepreneurs, and engineers.

 9. App Camp for Girls

App Camp For Girls is a one-week summer day program where girls can put their creative powers to work, designing and building apps, while learning more about the business of software and being inspired by role models in the industry.

10. Sun Devil Kids' Camp

Sun Devil Kids' Camp is a fun-filled, action-packed sports and activity summer camp for children. Kids will participate in a variety of sports-related games focusing on physical fitness and sportsmanship, arts and crafts activities for kids of all ages and interests. And they will swim every day!

  • Grades: 1–6
  • When: May 24–Aug. 4, 7:30 a.m.–5:30 p.m.
  • Where: Tempe, Polytechnic and West campuses
  • Cost: $135 per week for members of the Sun Devil Fitness Center; $155 for non-members
  • Deadline: May 30
  • Registration:
  • Contact: 480-965-5639 or

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