NOTE: This post contains affiliate links, and Grown & Flown may earn a commission, but the opinions are our own.Thanks to iD Tech for being one of our partners.
It can be hard to figure out what to do with tweens and teens for the summer. While it’s a great time to unwind, have a job, and enjoy family and friends, it can also be a perfect time to explore new interests. For teens interested in STEM, it can be an unmatched opportunity to learn about areas of tech that are beyond their regular classroom learning. If they apply to college, it can be a great chance to show admission officers their interest in specific fields.
In-demand skills, like-minded friendships, and a taste of college life
I was looking for constructive yet engaging summer activities for my tech-focused teen. I wanted something where he would learn things not covered at his school to feel like a real break but still a learning experience. I wanted something that might help him decide the future course of his college education (and maybe give him some insight into a potential career), but would feel like fun.
And, in truth, he found iD Tech.
With 24 years of experience and an expansive online course lineup, iD Tech has the exact types of tech instruction that match teens’ interests. Plus, their instructors are recruited from top universities like Caltech and NYU.
Registrations for their summer programs open mid-November, and spots tend to fill quickly. Teens can immerse themselves in cutting-edge tech topics — from coding and game development to artificial intelligence, 3D design, and more — at over 65 university locations nationwide and online. Their most popular topics include BattleBots, Fortnite, Minecraft, Roblox, and coding.
My son loved his experience in game design, something I knew he was passionate about but would not be able to explore in the classroom. He found highly knowledgeable instructors and lots of peers who shared similar passions. Each morning when I dropped him off, he would try to negotiate an extra hour when the formal sessions were over to spend time with his new friends. Nothing makes a mom happier.
Turning passions into a career: top reasons Why I chose iD Tech for my son
My son spent his summer at iD Tech interacting with like-minded peers and engaging in enriching activities that fostered his love for tech and inspired his career pathway. Here are the things I loved most about his experience:
- My son had an interest in computer programming and game design, but few opportunities to work with educators who could nurture and guide his passions. He found this with his instructors at iD Tech. He made fast friends with other students in the class who shared his interests. Spoiler alert: he majored in computer science in college.
- He received regular feedback (so important when learning a new skill) from his instructor. I was able to track his success as well. The classes were small and allowed for individual attention.
- He spent his summer days doing something constructive, which helped develop an interest that would only grow during his high school and later college years. He chose to do a full-day program at a nearby college but could have opted for the experience of living on campus and getting an early taste of college life.
- The only thing he liked more than playing computer games was coding them; iD Tech taught him the tools to do this. Not long after, he proudly showed me animations he had created.
- He was in class with teens close in age who had a similar interest. He had plenty of friends who liked to play computer games, but at iD Tech, he also made friends with teens who liked to create them.
- The camp was an excellent way for him to take his learning deeper and figure out if this was something he wanted to do more of in the future. This positive experience led him to take his high school AP Computer Science course.
- His time at iD Tech camp turned his unstructured summer days into a constructive learning experience, and both he and I felt great about how much he learned.
- He had the option to take classes in a daily setting, a residential setting (a chance to explore a college campus), one-on-one with an instructor, and now virtually. The type of teaching can match the student.
Virtual programs include multi-week Online Teen Academies created in partnership with top universities and well-known companies. For beginner and advanced students, these academies allow them to earn official certification, helping them show colleges they want to take their interest to the next level.
Students who want to move faster or delve deeper into a topic have another option with Online Private Lessons. Your teen will have individual access to one of the highly qualified adult iD Tech-certified instructors. These are great for students who already know what they want to focus on.
For parents of teens who aren’t sure where to start, a Discovery Lesson might be the way to go. This is the perfect place to begin if Minecraft, Java, Python, Roblox, or YouTube all sound completely good or completely foreign, and your student needs a bit of help figuring things out by working with a Tech Rockstar for 60 minutes.
More details about iD Tech Camps:
Ages: For all skill levels, ages 7-19.
Camps and Academies: Life on campus and exciting tech enrichment at over 65 locations nationwide.
Online Teen Academies: Portfolio-boosting certification powered by top institutions.
Virtual Camps: The magic of camp from anywhere, with 2 hours of live group instruction + 2 hours of self-paced project development per day.
Private Lessons: Customized 1-on-1 learning available in 50 popular tech topics.
Learn more about iD Tech here.