Do you have a child who loves to create, build, and explore technology?
We’ve written about activities for our art-inspired children before, but it’s time to look at STEM too and all of the ways our kids can get more involved with their interest in tech, science and engineering. We’re fortunate that our city is so rich with opportunities in sciences, engineering and technology and our kids are learning these skills at a much earlier age than many of us did.
If you have a STEM-focused child and they want to try something new and exciting, we’ve rounded up a list of classes and workshops that might be right for them.
STEM Workshops and Classes in Ottawa for Kids
University of Ottawa
The University of Ottawa has established itself as the place kids will want to be when it comes to engineering and science programs. They have a variety of opportunities, like camps, workshops and weekly classes, that will appeal to curious young minds. On Saturdays, students in grades 3 to 6 can register for the weekly club sessions. Spring classes are from May 15 until June 11 and include engineering and science clubs. In addition, various coding and robotics clubs are available across the city for weekly gatherings. They aren’t hosted at the University but are at satellite locations in Orleans, Barrhaven and Kanata.
If you have older kids and teens in grades 7-10, they won’t want to miss the Teen Tech Club at the University where they can deep dive into hands-on science and engineering activities with others who express the same interest.
Ottawa Public Library
The Ottawa Public Library is constantly providing quality programming and special events for kids across Ottawa, so we aren’t surprised to see them embracing the STEM fields with special activities like robotics and coding. The best way to not miss an event is to check out your local libraries event offerings every month. They change often, but many locations across Ottawa include something that is STEM-related.
For example, on May 6 at the Beaverbrook location, there is a ‘code my robot‘ challenge for students aged 13-18. Or maybe your 8-12-year-old will want to check out the Makermobile where they can create and build for an hour. The Makermobile will be available at Lorry Greenberg location on May 11, but visit the website to find out where it will be next!
City of Ottawa
If your child loves the behind-the-scenes technology that goes into the creation of their favourite game, App or online video, you’ll want to look out for coding, gaming, and video production opportunities with the City of Ottawa and the arts centres.
This spring, the Shenkman Arts Centre has a special technology session every Monday night for kids aged 12-18 focusing on the creation of their own mobile game through animation and the use of tools like Adobe Photoshop.
Meanwhile, the Nepean Creative Arts Centre frequently offers the class ‘Animate This!’ where budding filmmakers and directors can learn how to create an animated short with stop motion, claymation, cameras and more. Perhaps there’s a future Oscar-winning short in the making after this class!
The City of Ottawa also hosts LEGO building and robotics at various centres across the city with The Lego Guy, Ian Dudley. Mr. Dudley has been helping kids discover the joy of LEGO robotics through hands-on programming and building for many years and these opportunities to take a weekly class with others who are also interested in LEGO robotics can’t be beat. Look for locations this spring in Orleans, Kanata and Nepean. These programs are available for a variety of ages.