There's no doubt about it: mechanics and robotics have shifted from being the wave of the future to the reality of the present. For kids as young as six years old, two park district specialty camps will bring the ever-changing world of science to summer activities.

Offered through St. Charles-based PWNAGE Robotics, both the "X-treme Science" and "EV3 Engineering" camps will appeal to the budding inventor, mechanic, computer coder, or chemist.

"These student-run groups give intensive personal instruction," said Lara Piner, Community Center Supervisor. "There are a lot of students helping with the group and there's practically one high school student working with every younger camper. They are really passionate about robotics, engineering and science."

Marking the third summer such specialty science camps have been offered, each season brings a new focus in the curriculum.

"Robotics are hot right now," said Piner. "The camps also build off the STEM curriculum kids are experiencing in school."

The "X-treme Science" camp for children ages 6 to 9 taps into a child's natural interest about how things work by combining curiosity and creativity to complete mind-blowing science experiments with polymer chemistry, crystallization, aerodynamics, physics and engineering. Kids will bring home a new project with experience summaries each day.

Slightly older children, ages 9 to 12, can sign up for the "EV3 Engineering" camp where they will work in teams to design, build and program a robot using LEGO Mindstorm EV3s. The hands-on class gives an introduction to the design engineering process using rotation, light and touch sensors.

"Robotics classes are a great way for kids to gear up for a career in mechanics and engineering or just impress their family and friends with how things work," said Piner. "The kids have a blast performing their experiments here in the park. It's a lot of fun to watch what they get into."

Both camps take place at Pottawatomie Community Center and run from June 19 to 23. The "X-treme Science" camp goes from 9 AM to noon, while the "EV3 Engineering" program runs from 1 to 4 PM.

For more information about the specialty science camps, contact Lara Piner at (630) 513-4330.