Best STEAM Science Camp in Southern California

STEAM. It’s not just what you use to get the wrinkles out of your clothes or to make broccoli taste good enough to eat. In this case, it’s an acronym that stands for Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Math.

You may have heard it as STEM, which is the same thing, minus art. People usually refer to STEM (without art) in terms of careers, like encouraging more women to go into engineering, for example.

Here at  Pali Institute, we encourage a love of STEAM.

Kids will both learn lots and have fun – learn a little bit about our STEAM Science camp below.

The Importance of STEAM

The first and main question most people have when they hear STEAM instead of STEM is, why add art? According to the Rhode Island School of Design, “The goal is to foster the true innovation that comes with combining the mind of a scientist or technology with that of an artist or designer”.

Why is it so important for kids to have these skills, including art? There’s a 14% projected job growth in STEAM-related careers, compared to a 5-8% average.

And there aren’t nearly enough projected graduates to keep up with that. The field is only growing by .8% annually when it comes to human manpower.

We need to get kids involved and interested in STEAM areas so that we can build a future strong and able workforce.

Aren’t They a Little Young for That?

Yes and no. Kids find their passions early when you expose them to different things. Maybe they’ve never gotten to explore engineering or dissection in school, or maybe they won’t for a few years.

Getting them interested in something early may spark a love of learning or a STEM interest that they take with them for the rest of their life.

Parents don’t send their kids to the best STEAM science camp because they want them to be engineers. They send them for the educational opportunities.  Sparking interest in a STEAM career is a bonus.

What’s Science Camp at Pali Institute Like?

We’re glad you asked. Your class will be learning and having fun at the same time. Each 3, 4 or 5-day session exposes them to a project-driven learning module.

For example,  living fossils class, which explores fossils and evolution related reptiles. Reptiles are some of the oldest animal types on earth – there’s some truth to saying that dinosaurs were just big lizards. But would you believe that a chicken is just a tiny cousin of T-Rex?

In this class kids visit with live animals in the nature center and then look at fossils, to see how the present relates to the past. It’s a great way to spark a love of natural history and evolution in a child.

A Day At Camp

At Pali Institute, your students have a fun, full day.  The day begins with a hearty American breakfast, followed by our unique experiential learning program.

Our instructors lead five  90-minute class sessions, (some subjects take a double session.)  Classes are loosely grouped around the themes of science, leadership and outdoor education.  Lunch is served buffet-style, then followed with more themed activities.

As a teacher, you have ample time to participate with your students. Pali staff provides instruction and supervision during your visit.  At the end of the instructional day, many teachers like to regroup with their students for a period of reflection and journaling before dinner.

During the evening, Pali provides the opportunity to do fun activities to wind down from the day.  Astronomy dancing, movie night, games, karaoke, night hikes, and more are options.

Camp Classes Straight Out of the State Standards

All of our science classes are correlated with grade-level state education standards for California, Arizona, and Nevada. Our high-energy, hands-on approach to instruction makes learning irresistible. Read on for some examples.

Kraken Open

Do you have students always poking and prodding at things on the playground? Or bringing things to show and tell in jars? They’ll love our Kraken dissection class. It’s really a squid- we couldn’t get our hands on the fictional sea monster this time around.

Kids will learn how to dissect and what to look for and how to identify different organs/body parts in the process. They’ll also learn what squids do in their ecosystem, and why they’re so important.


Is your class obsessed with paper airplanes? Then they’ll love the double session class on how to sky is the limit and the destination. Though they won’t get to fly themselves, they’ll get to design and carry out their own (small) rocket launch. They’ll talk about drag and wind patterns, even playing with wind tunnels and Lego cars.

Geology Engineering

In California, you learn a lot about earthquakes. But what about floods and landslides?  What happens to infrastructure when natural disasters hit?

We’ll simulate some natural disasters and talk about predicting them in this class. They’ll even get to plan and make a small city that they’ll create to stand up to natural forces.  Our simulations will test their designs. It’ll take them back to when they were kids, knocking over their sibling’s block towers – but in a more sophisticated and learning-friendly way.

CSI: Pali Version

Don’t worry – they’ll be no grotesque fake murder scenes in this class. Your students will learn about fingerprinting and other types of forensic tests, though. They’ll do their own investigation on a mystery and compare things like fingerprints and handwriting samples to find whodunnit.

It’s an age-appropriate way to introduce kids to crime scene science.

Getting Started

Ready to inspire the next generation of scientists, engineers, and inventors? The fully customizable Pali Institute programs fill up fast!

For the best dates, contact us now to begin the booking process. Many schools return year after year.

If you want to learn more about the curriculum and why Pali Institute is the best STEAM science camp, request more information below!

Connect with the Pali Institute team!