While some kids are obsessed with robots and rocket ships before they can even pronounce the words, some future physicists need a little more encouragement to develop a love of math and science. REad on to discover the best STEM based classes and activities in the city that are designed to make a love of science fun and easy for girls and boys of all ages—even those who think they don’t have an interest in the subjects.
photo: Zaniac Learning Center
Zaniac Learning Center
Zaniac turns the classroom into a playroom with game-based learning. Presenting complex concepts, like robotics and engineering, as playtime makes learning exciting for your reluctant scholars. With classes like Digital Fashion Design (alongside LEGO Robotics) there is something to tempt kids with a variety of interests by weaving technology into subjects they are already excited about. Each after school class series meets once a week for six weeks with programs ranging from K-8. Camps are available during summer and winter breaks, and they also offer Parents Night Out events and birthday parties.
3201 Wilshire Blvd.
photo: Kids Can Code
Kids Can Code
As the parents of two girls, Kids Can Code founders Chris and Priya Bradfield understand that girls are especially under-represented when it comes to higher education in computer science. They have developed classes to encourage girls to develop an interest in computer technology with the hopes that they will go on to pursue degrees and careers in the field. Besides regular coding classes for kids of all skill levels, they offer girls only coding classes to create a comfortable learning environment. They also partner with local Girl Scout troops on technology based projects and events. Weekly classes sessions are available for beginners and more experienced kids, ages 7 & up.
Various locations including Sherman Oaks, Calabasas, and Pasadena.
Girls In STEM Club—Columbia Memorial Space Center
What better way to encourage girls to get involved in math and science than by forming an awesome club? With monthly meetings at the Columbia Memorial Space Center, members of the Girls in STEM Club will spend a Saturday getting hands on experience with exciting, science-based projects. They will also take part in an annual summit with mentors working in the field. The free club meetings are open to girls age 9 & up.
12400 Columbia Way
photo: Coding for Treasure
Coding For Treasure
Learning coding can be boring for some little techies unless they get a better understanding of the bigger picture and how the skills can be applied in the real world. During weekly classes that cover computer science and digital technology, kids will get to apply what they learn to developing their own apps, games and movies, just like real-life coders. In addition to their classes and camps, Coding For Treasure also hosts a free program aimed at inspiring girls called Tech Grrrls. Girls aged four & up can attend the monthly meetings held on Friday evenings where they can get together with other girls and mentors to learn more about technology and science and how they can get involved.
2920 Huntington Dr.
In answer to the age-old kid question, “When am I ever going to use math?” Asteme was born. For little learners struggling to understand the point of all those endless equations seemingly meant for pure torture, this program will introduce them to all the wonderful ways math and science are applied in the real world. Using music, art, nature and even physical activities like rock climbing, Asteme classes get kids away from desks and out exploring the real world to learn about math based concepts like engineering, space exploration, and architecture. K-8 level classes are offered in 8-week after school and weekend sessions. They also offer camps during summer and spring breaks.
11672 Gateway Blvd.
photo: Logan Heights Branch Library
Full Steam Ahead!
A reluctant tyke may leave you reluctant to pony up for a full series of classes. Luckily, you don’t have to spend a ton (or even a single dime!) to get your little one’s gears going. The Los Angeles Public Library’s program Full STEAM Ahead offers free events at various branches to inspire a love of all things science and math. The library also offers lists of books and resources to help motivate young learners.
Various LAPL branches, check the listings online for dates and locations.
photo: Shahrzad Warkentin
BONUS: There’s no need to even corral the kids into the car to get their minds tuned in to the exciting world of science. Thanks to an inspiring LA kidpreneneur, you can have a subscription box full of science activities delivered to your mailbox every month. The Top Secret Science Club is aimed at enticing kids to love science, by turning basic lessons into imaginative adventures.
Is there a class that has blossomed your luddite leaning kids into total techies? Share any we missed in the comments!