The Institute for Advanced Learning and Research (IALR) hosts a series of STEM camps every summer. These week-long experiences provide students with a memorable, engaging introduction to concepts in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM). Most of these camps are for students in grades 3-8, but a few are for lower and higher grade levels. 

We are gearing up for an exciting summer 2024 at IALR! Registration will open on April 15, 2024, at 11:00 a.m. At that time, parents will be able to register students below. 

2024 STEM Camp Schedule 

“My two sons and two nephews had a FANTASTIC camp with all of the staff. My youngest son literally cried himself to sleep tonight because he knew he didn’t have camp again tomorrow. All four children were just so excited all week.”Amy Scott

Would You Survive? / Building Buddies 6/19-6/23

Camp registration includes lunch, snacks and supplies. You may pay by credit card when you register. Credit card information cannot be given over the phone. If you are paying by check/money order, please make them payable to “IALR” and mail to: IALR, Attn: Dana Silicki, 150 Slayton Ave. Danville, VA 24540.

Registration for each camp will close one week before the start date or when all spots are filled. Additional camps may be posted in the future. Campers will participate in both events below, spending half their day on each topic. Based on their age, campers will be split into two groups of 16. Camp activities are from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Participants must be signed in and out daily. Participants should arrive no earlier than 8:15 a.m. and must be picked up no later than 4:40 p.m.

Registration and Required Forms

When you register, you will receive an email with required camp forms attached within three business days. These must be returned, with payment, within five business days of receipt of the forms or you may lose your child’s spot in camp. This will be enforced to be fair to students on waiting lists as many camps quickly fill up. 

You may also download the required forms here: 

Health History Form

Code of Conduct

Photo Release

Medical Authorization Form


If you would like to apply for a camp scholarship, please register for the camp, fill out, and return the scholarship application within five business days. Your child’s spot will be reserved while scholarship applications are being reviewed. 

If you would like to apply for financial assistance, email or download the scholarship application. 


  • Monday: hot dogs, French fries, baby carrots with ranch dressing, fresh fruit salad
  • Tuesday: personal pepperoni pizza, garden salad, red seedless grapes, cookies
  • Wednesday: chicken tenders, macaroni & cheese, steamed broccoli, jello parfait
  • Thursday: corn dog nuggets, tater tots, applesauce, chocolate brownie
  • Friday: cheese quesadillas, Spanish rice, buttered corn, cinnamon churros

Water and sweet tea are available at lunch each day.

Please note that the Institute Conference Center will be happy to accommodate Vegetarian, Vegan, Gluten Free and Peanut Allergies. We ask that for any dietary needs beyond those listed, the camper brings his or her own lunch.


Refunds will be given only with a two-week (14 calendar days) notice prior to the start date of the camp for which you wish to cancel registration. The advance notice must be sent via email to No exceptions will be made to this policy.

IALR reserves the right to cancel any camp. If a camp is cancelled, a refund will be issued and electronic notification will be made to all paid registrants.

For more information or if you would like to be added to a mailing list to learn about the STEM camps, please contact Dana Silicki.

2024 STEM Camp Schedule

Registration for each of the camps below will open at 11 a.m. on April 15. At that time registration information will be featured alongside each camp listed. 

Unless otherwise noted, each of these camps will run from 8:30 a.m. until 4:30 p.m. and is hosted at the Institute for Advanced Learning and Research.  


  • Dates: June 3-6, 2024
  • For: Rising 9-10th graders
  • Maximum Capacity: 16
  • Cost: free

Participants will design and build robots to compete in this year’s Vex IQ Robotics Competition Game, Full Volume. Participants will design, build, and test robot designs as they strategize ways to maximize point scoring on the Vex Full Volume game field. Throughout the camp, participants will tour a variety of training and demonstration labs showcasing robotic and automation capabilities as well as the various career fields associated with robotics. The final day of the camp will feature a competition pitting participant-built robots against each other in a variety of challenges. This camp is sponsored by GCAPS (The Global Center for Automotive Performance Simulation), GO Virginia and Great Opportunities in Technology and Engineering Careers (GO TEC®).


Racing Games with Unity/Discover your Inner Scientist

  • Dates: June 10-14, 2024
  • For: Rising 3-8th graders
  • Maximum Capacity: 32
  • Cost: $160

Racing Games with Unity

Are you ready to take your game design skills to another level? With Unity, an industry-grade design software, aspiring game designers will learn level editing, 3D modeling, impactful gameplay creation and how to utilize scripts and variables. Student-created games will be available on a password-protected Black Rocket website to share with friends and family.

Discover your Inner Scientist

Love science? There’s a scientist in all of us! Let’s explore what scientists do and how to tap into your inner scientist with experiments that range from gross to outright fun.


Beats and Jams: Digital Music Creators/STEM: From an Artist’s View

  • Dates: June 17-21, 2024
  • For: Rising 3-8th graders
  • Maximum Capacity: 32
  • Cost: $160

Beats and Jams: Digital Music Creators

Begin your rise to the top of the charts with digital music production! Like today’s top artists, you can design your own beats or remix a mashup of your favorite songs to become a digital composer and sound engineer. In this course, students will learn to produce digital music, record sound, make sound effects and mix their own tracks. No prior music experience is necessary. Student-created soundtracks will be available on a password-protected website to share with friends and family. Students will work in pairs or teams for most of the program.

STEM: From an Artist’s View

We hear a lot about STEM (science, technology, engineering and math), but art is everywhere around us, even in science. STEM will be combined with art to create some colorful and messy projects. Use your creativity to make art out of STEM.


Escape Room/Challenge Accepted!

  • Dates: June 24-28, 2024
  • For: Rising 3-8th graders
  • Maximum Capacity: 32
  • Cost: $160

Escape Room
Think you have what it takes to escape? Work with your teammates to solve challenges to make it to the next room. This camp’s engaging, hands-on activities allow students to explore, learn, and have fun while using their creativity and problem-solving skills. With plenty of opportunities to create, explore and design, campers will use their critical thinking skills and creativity to complete exciting challenges. Let’s see if you have what it takes to escape.

Challenge Accepted!

Tackle new challenges and find your inner engineer. Do you think there’s only one way to solve a problem? No way! Create fun solutions to hands-on challenges for ultimate bragging rights. Become an inventor of the future! Students use curiosity and problem-solving skills to explore, design, build, and test various projects in this engaging camp. Students will use the scientific method to determine which materials and design concepts will best accomplish their project goals.


STEM in the Movies

  • Dates: July 1-3, 2024
  • For: Rising K-4th graders
  • Maximum Capacity: 14 (group will not be separated)
  • Cost: $100

Do you love movies? Do you love Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math? This camp is a great way to have fun linking STEM concepts and movies. We’ll solve problems and investigate the science behind some of your favorite movies.


STEM in Space/Around the World

  • Dates: July 8-12, 2024
  • For: Rising 3-8th graders
  • Maximum Capacity: 32
  • Cost: $160

STEM in Space

We will dive into outer space’s mysteries through a dynamic fusion of science, math, engineering and technology! From building model rockets and simulating space missions to stargazing nights, students will immerse themselves in hands-on activities and interactive workshops. Join us for a thrilling adventure that sparks curiosity, fosters creativity and ignites a passion for space exploration in a fun and educational setting.

Around the World

Join us for an incredible adventure. Grab your boarding pass and passport and let’s get ready to travel worldwide. We will explore different countries and environments. We will create budgets and make sure we stick to them on our vacation. We will engage in hands-on activities that allow students to research and explore different cultures, foods and lifestyles. Be ready to explore!


STEM Studios/Young Authors Unite

  • Dates: July 15-19, 2024
  • For: Rising 3-8th graders
  • Maximum Capacity: 32
  • Cost: $160

STEM Studios

At STEM Studios, young innovators will explore the exciting intersection of science, math, engineering, and technology in the context of music studios and filmmaking. Students will dive into hands-on activities such as sound mixing, video editing, music production and special effects creation. Through a blend of creativity and technical skills, students will discover how these disciplines come together to shape the world of entertainment, inspiring them to create their own masterpieces in a collaborative and engaging environment.

Young Authors Unite

Have you ever thought about writing a book? Let’s learn what it takes to write and/or illustrate a book. We will explore the works and motivations of your favorite authors. Participants will learn to add dialogue, maintain consistent verb tense and use strong word variations. Stretch your imagination to create something uniquely yours. We can’t wait to read what you create!


AI Adventures – Intro to Machine Learning/CodeQuest

  • Dates: July 22-26, 2024
  • For: Rising 3-8th graders
  • Maximum Capacity: 32
  • Cost: $160

AI Adventures – Intro to Machine Learning

Explore the world of artificial intelligence to design fully interactive games and experiences using cutting-edge technology. This program combines artificial intelligence with coding to create an unforgettable learning adventure. Students will construct machine learning models that use image and text recognition within block-based coding software to build a portfolio of projects. Student-created projects will be available on a password-protected Black Rocket website to share with friends and family. Students will work in pairs or teams for most of the program.


Welcome to CodeQuest, where young minds delve into the realms of STEM through the art of coding. Students will embark on a hands-on journey to explore programming fundamentals, from creating simple algorithms to developing interactive projects using various coding languages. Through engaging lessons and interactive workshops, students will learn how coding is utilized in scientific simulations, mathematical modeling, engineering designs and technological innovations. This camp will be an inspiring experience that equips students with basic, essential skills for the digital age.



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