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Summer Learning Opportunities for Kids in DSM

Summer Education

Opportunity abounds for school-aged children this summer in Greater Des Moines (DSM). From STEM classes and camps to creative art classes, students of all ages can still sign up for the chance to continue their learning in between swimming at the local pool and meeting up with friends in July and August. Check out the learning opportunities below to find educational camps and classes in the region.

Summer Education Opportunities

For kids ages 6-12, Camp Brainiac offers educational opportunities in Waukee, where activities align with Iowa’s Core Curriculum requirements. In Downtown DSM, the Science Center of Iowa still has a few spots left in its summer camps for various ages this summer. Check out classes like “SCI Girls: Create” for fourth and fifth graders, “iExplore: DSM” for sixth through eighth grades or “What is unique about snakes: for preschool-aged children. Students can also explore the natural world with Polk County Conservation summer camps that allow for handson-learning and outdoor exploration.

Across the region, the YMCA of Greater Des Moines offers STEAM Youth Enrichment Classes at the following locations: Indianola YMCA, Walnut Creek Family YMCA, Waukee Family YMCA and the Wellmark YMCA in Downtown DSM. These programs help build both artistic and academic skills, with many included free with a family membership.

The Heartland Area Education Association (AEA) offers families digital resources, including ebooks to read aloud and more. Find information for preschool through twelfth grade on the AEA website.

{YEL!} offers “Robotics” and “Project Runway” courses in July. Register for these and other classes like “Coding 2.0,” “RC Wars” and “Chess Camp” here. There are also still open spots for the Ankeny Art Center’s summer camps. Through Tigerlily STEM, summer camps are offered in Ankeny, Johnston, Urbandale and Waukee. Ankeny offers a “School of Wizardry Camp” and “Amazing Architects” class in July.

In West Des Moines, classes are offered for a range of grades and include classes like Really Rockin’ Geology and Fencing. At the Des Moines Area Community College (DMACC) Kids College at the West Des Moines campus, students can sign up for classes that focus on computers and tech, including “The Gaming Academy.” There are also virtual camps available, including “3D Game Design” and “Code Breakers.”

STEM classes for various ages are available through Waukee Community School District, including “Eureka Engineering” in July and “Robotics 2.4,” available in July and August. Find these and other opportunities here.

Iowa State University still has a few openings for Summer Day Camps for youth (K-12), including “Drone Discovery” for sixth and seventh graders, “Mindfulness Thrive Retreat” for eighth, ninth and tenth graders, both in July, and “Creepy Crawly Bug Camp” for third, fourth and fifth graders in August.

Public libraries across the region also offer their summer reading programs and other opportunities for children and teens to take part in during their time off from school. Find more information about a nearby summer reading program here.

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Greater Des Moines Partnership

The Greater Des Moines Partnership is the economic and community development organization that serves Greater Des Moines (DSM), Iowa. Together with 23 Affiliate Chambers of Commerce, more than 6,500 Regional Business Members and more than 400 Investors, The Partnership drives economic growth with one voice, one mission and as one region. Through innovation, strategic planning and global collaboration, The Partnership grows opportunity, helps create jobs and promotes DSM as the best place to build a business, a career and a future. Learn more at DSMpartnership.com.