ASU offers summer camp fun & learning for kids

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After Arizona State University paused its summer kids’ camp for two years due to COVID, it’s time for campers to come back! “We have missed all of our campers SO MUCH,” ASU said in a statement.

On Arizona Horizon, we spoke to Vanessa Ruiz, the deputy vice president for outreach at ASU’s Educational Outreach & Student Services. Ruiz gave us all the details of ASU summer camps. She says children can attend educational camps that explore a variety of topics from engineering to math and even forensic science. The programs are offered to grades Kindergarten-12. 

Programs for ASU summer camps are offered on all four campuses and online. Formats range from day camps to residential programs, where students actually have the opportunity to live on campus.

There are different deadlines for summer camp registration. Some are open until filled. And some of the programs don’t begin until July.

Here are just a few samples of the unique and varied experiences ASU is offering over the summer.

Forensics Camp: CSI

You’ve seen crime scene investigation on TV, but what is it like in the real world? Come spend a week at this ASU summer camp learning forensic techniques including fingerprinting, blood pattern analysis and handwriting examination. Campers will learn the different types of information you can obtain from various pieces of evidence left behind at a crime scene.

Game Strategy: Dungeons and Dragons

Dungeons and Dragons is not just a game – there is so much more! DnD is a tabletop RPG (role playing game) that incorporates imagination, storytelling, problem solving, and action. Campers will spend the week experiencing a mini campaign of Dungeons and Dragons. Along the way they will learn to tell stories, solve problems collaboratively and create dynamic characters.

STEM Sports at ASU

This camp is for every level of sports fan! Love to play? Rather watch from the sidelines? Either way this ASU summer camp is for you! We will do hands on activities designed to build confidence, persistence and problem solving skills! All with balls, tape measures and so much more.

STEM Extravaganza

This camp includes hands on science activities, engineering, cybersecurity and forensic science. Campers will have the opportunity to learn new skills and see what they really like! This camp is designed to be a STEM ‘sampler’, giving a taste of each topic.

Digital Culture Summer Institute

The Digital Culture Summer Institute is our long-standing summer program on ASU’s Tempe campus for students in 6th-12th grades to take classes in digital media, arts, and technology. Week-long, project-focused classes are taught by faculty and graduate students. This summer, students can make 3D jewelry, code their own game, build creative robots, learn how computers see, and more.


INSPIRE is a no-cost, week-long, college readiness program for American Indian high school students from Tribal Nations in Arizona. Students in this ASU summer camp will participate in programming focused on academic and personal success through culturally relevant, project-based learning while connecting with ASU American Indian students, staff and faculty.

Painting Portraits – School of Art Summer Camp

Portrait painting has deep roots in history and still has a strong presence in the art world today. In this camp, you’ll learn how to work with oil paints, mix skin tones, tackle proportion, and create the illusion of light and form. In addition, you’ll practice mastering 3-D volume, structure, and anatomy — all leading up to painting from real life!

RISE Leadership Institute

RISE Summer Leadership Institute is a leadership and college readiness program for rising 10-12th graders, that celebrates and continues the legacy of Black and African American Sun Devils of Arizona State University. The institute provides tools to help students cultivate their leadership abilities as they continue serving at their schools and in the community. Here, students will also receive resources that will help them navigate the college going process, while gaining insight from Black alumni, staff, students and community members.

Clay Camp – School of Art Summer Camp

Bring your vision to life through the exploration of ceramic hand building and surface design! In this camp, you’ll create imaginative ceramic forms and apply various surface design methods using underglaze, painting, and carving techniques. Here, students will learn about the full pottery process, and will be able to pick up and take home their fired pieces after the camp’s conclusion.

Vanessa Ruiz, Deputy VP for Outreach for ASU's Educational Outreach & Student Services

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