STEAM Dream: Activities to Inspire Your Little Techie

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Most parents know if we need help with technology, our 5-year-old can teach us a thing or two. If you’ve got one of those tech-savvy kiddos, it may be time to find a few classes to help them master the art of technology and engineering (that is, before they start disassembling the laptop). We’ve uncovered a few great resources to help your kiddos master the modern digital world and get their tech juices flowing.

sophie steam

photo: Leah Singer

The New Children’s Museum’s Saturday STEAM Series
The New Children’s Museum is at it again with a series of STEAM-focused workshops throughout the year. The Museums has partnered withFabLab San Diego to present fun and creative projects to help little engineers gain a fundamental understanding of engineering concepts, electronics and design. Their upcoming crafty new class teaches kids how to make paper creatures that light up and move by engineering the circuits all by themselves. This program is best suited for kiddos ages 6 to 10.

Dates: November 7, 14 and 21, 10 a.m. – 12 p.m.
Cost: $160/member; $175/non-member

200 West Island Ave.
San Diego, California 92101

Gizmos & Gadgets Kids Lab
This creative lab lets kids be free to develop and pursue their own ideas through hands-on project based learning experiences in science, technology, engineering, art, math and maker. Gizmos & Gadgets strives to expose young engineers to the real vocabulary, tools, processes, and content of STEAM fields, and provide a fun and engaging experience where they can follow their own ideas, problem solve and work in teams. The Lab offers preschool and elementary school programs, summer camps, parties and weekend classes. The programs are great for kids in preschool and beyond.

4903 Morena Blvd. #1210
San Diego, Ca 92117


photo: San Diego Festival of Science & Engineering

STEAM Maker Workshop
This program offers hands-on lessons for individual, academic, private and community organizations who are seeking that extra edge. Choose among after-school classes, workshops, field trip options, and even birthday parties. STEAM Maker Workshop aims to reacquaint society to the world of invention and innovation. One of the fun workshops currently offered is Pancakeology: Experience the Science of Breakfast. This fun class takes place Saturdays, from 7:30 – 9:30 a.m., and provides kiddos with 100% of the recommended daily allowance of sciencey goodness. Visit the location and check out the Micro Maker Lab, Deep Space Explorer room and Acoustic Conservatory. Recommended age varies by program.

Dates and Costs: Varies, check the website for details

4619 B Mission Gorge Pl.
San Diego, Ca 92120

Challenge Island
Offering an after-school program, birthday parties and field trips, Challenge Island is a great STEAM destination. The after-school program currently focuses on all aspects of developing and building an amusement park from every day household materials. Upcoming workshops focus on roller coaster rides and erupting volcanoes. Check the website for class availability; it’s currently offered at a few schools and local libraries. Best suited for kids ages 4 – 13 years.

Dates: Tuesdays, 3:25 – 4:25 p.m.
Price: $120/session

4370 Kamloop Ave.
San Diego, Ca 92117


photo: Reuben H. Fleet Science Center

Reuben H. Fleet Science Center
Leave it to the Fleet Museum to pump up the STEAM volume. With options like the preschool science program Young Scientists, Saturdays in the Tinkering Club and the ever-awesome Saturday Science Club for Girls. Workshop topics include biology, chemistry, engineering, environmental science, physics, robotics and much more. They’ve got all ages and interests covered, too.

Dates and Costs: Varies by individual programs

Balboa Park
1875 El Prado
San Diego, Ca 92101

STEAM2 Academy
This program works with local libraries to bring young scientists and engineers an array of activities with curriculum and equipment developed in conjunction with NASA California Space Grant Consortium, the National Science Foundation funded High Performance Wireless Research and Education Network and the National Park Service Sea to Shining Sea. Classes are offered on several topics including space science, aerospace engineering and rocket science, botany and entomology, chemistry and geology, and lots more. The classes are great for little ones in preschool and beyond. Check to see if your local library is hosting a class, or contact STEAM2 to bring a program to your school.

Cost: Free
Dates: Varies by location


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We want your ideas, too! Where do you find technology activities around town?

— Allison Stabile