Every parent knows that sometimes school just isn’t enough to keep curious kids satisfied. So what’s a mom or dad to do? If you’re running out of Netflix documentaries to occupy your budding botanist, or your junior chemist has depleted your pantry’s stock of vinegar and baking soda, have no fear! There are plenty of after school S.T.E.A.M. activities around Pittsburgh that will keep both you and your kids happy!
1 - 14 years old
Snapology is a locally-owned organization dedicated to inspiring children to pursue S.T.E.A.M. projects and careers throughout their lives. Founded by sisters Lisa and Laura Coe, Snapology now has Discovery Centers in cities across the country. Snapology offers a wide variety of S.T.E.A.M. and S.T.E.M. programming designed to get children of all ages excited about their education. They offer programs in robotics, game design,and team building, among other things, and they also have an anti-bullying initiative and offer accommodations for children with special needs.
Kindergarten - 8th grade
MyStem Academy was founded by professional engineer and former Carnegie Mellon University faculty member who wanted to open up the exciting world of engineering, computer science, and robotics to kids ages 4 to 14. They offer after school activities for kids with any level of experience with S.T.E.M., making MyStem Academy a great place for your kids to try something new or to put skills they’ve already learned into practice with fun, hands-on workshops.
Via email at email@example.com
Elementary (Kindergarten - 5th grade), or Middle School (6th - 8th grade)
Lab Ratz Science Club is an organization that will bring fun and engaging science activities right to your children’s school at no cost to the district. Their program of after school classes includes one meeting every week for five weeks and covers a wide variety of S.T.E.M. concepts. Whether your child is interested in animals, circuits, or even bubbles, the engaging lessons are sure to have something to pique every student’s interest.
By phone at 412-965-3497
2 - 6 years old
The Carnegie Science Center is an old favorite for many families in the Pittsburgh area. In 2016, the museum expanded its hands-on learning activities to a younger audience when they opened the Early Childhood S.T.E.M. Center. The Early Childhood S.T.E.M. Center is designed to help kids use their natural curiosity to explore the world around them. Little ones can participate in weekly activities or even sign up for “semesters” that allow them to explore a scientific concept in more detail during one two-hour session a week for five weeks.
By phone at 412-237-1637
6 months - 6 years old, or 1st - 12th grade
After registering with the Sarah Heinz House, members are eligible to enroll in a variety of exciting after school electives. The Design Lab elective gives kids the opportunities to create computer aided-design (CAD) models to design and create buildings with support from Carnegie Mellon’s Steinberner Institute and the University of Pittsburgh’s Mascaro Center for Sustainable Design. Other electives include arts and crafts projects and robotics.
Via email at firstname.lastname@example.org, or by phone at 412-231-2377
16 years old and up
TechShop, one of the first public fabrication and prototyping centers and Pittsburgh, may be getting a new look and a new name, but the heart of the organization remains the same. Now under the name of Protohaven, the organization will continue providing a space for people to learn how to make their ideas a reality. Protohaven is slated to open its doors sometime next year, and it is expected to offer lessons on woodworking, metalworking, and design, which will be open to older teens and adults. Protohaven may also host Youth Studios for younger inventors, as TechShop did before it.
By email at email@example.com
Pittsburgh’s growing influence in the world of professional S.T.E.A.M. and S.T.E.M. has created an abundance of opportunities for the next generation of great scientists and engineers to start flexing their mental muscles early. With amazing programs like these right outside your door, there are plenty of options to continue feeding your child’s interest in S.T.E.A.M. even after the school day is over.