South Jersey Innovation Center is a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) education and activities in the South Jersey area. The center sponsors activities for children and adults alike. SJIC’s efforts are entirely privately funded through the generosity of individual, corporate, media, and foundation supporters and maximized by a highly-qualified staff, active volunteer base, engaged Board of Directors, and widespread community backing.
Our mission is to help kids develop conceptual understanding of advanced engineering, math, and critical thinking skills using current topics and materials which go beyond a traditional school curriculum. We strive to create an environment where kids can enjoy the power of analytical reasoning through exploration of math, chess and other modern day programs like computer programming and robotics. We will build on your children’s innate curiosity and lead them to learn beyond the scope of the school curriculum.
Frequently Asked Questions
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How do I get a family discount?
SJIC offers a family discount whenever a family registers for multiple programs or camps. The discount will automatically be applied during your online registration.
What is your referral program?
We value our parents’ support and we’ll thank you with a South Jersey Innovation Center $25 gift certificate once your friend has enrolled in a class. Your gift certificate can be applied to any of our programs.
Do we need to wear masks?
Masking will no longer be required as of Semester 5 (starting 5/16/22) and 2022 summer camps (unless mandated again).
What are the Center’s COVID protocols?
Keeping our staff and students safe continues to be a priority at our center. Here are some guidelines:
- If your child has been in CLOSE CONTACT with someone who tested POSITIVE please stay home. Get tested at least 5 days after exposure even if your child has no symptoms. If their test is NEGATIVE please continue wearing a mask upon return to class.
- If your child tests POSITIVE please keep them home for 5 days whether or not they have symptoms. Upon return please continue wearing a mask.
- Any child with a FEVER should stay home and not return until they are fever free for 24 hours. Upon return please continue wearing a mask.
- Thank you for your cooperation and efforts to help keep our community safe and healthy!
What is the cost for a week of Summer Camp?
Your first week of one of our local camps costs $400. Each additional week is only $350 whether it’s for the same child or a sibling. This discount will be automatically applied when you register online.
Will campers go outside during summer camps?
Weather permitting, we plan to go outside every day after lunch. There may also be lessons taught outside. So be sure to dress appropriately!
What is the ratio of campers to staff?
We have plenty of supervision. There is usually one staff member for every 4 or 5 campers.
How do I register for extended care during summer camps?
If you need extended care either 8-9 am or 4-5 pm remember to click YES on your camp registration form. We’ll contact you to set it up. There is an additional cost of $50/child/week for each session.
If my child needs to take medicine will you give it to them?
No, sorry we can’t do that. But you are welcome to schedule a time to come and give it to them. If your child is sick please do not come to camp.
When are the camps held?
We offer STEM camps during Winter break, Spring break and the entire Summer break.
How can I register for classes next fall (2022)?
Our weekly STEM enrichment classes will begin again in September. New class schedules and registration will be posted in August. Please join our mailing list for updates.
Do I need to bring a laptop or tablet to class?
No. Just come prepared to learn and have fun. We have plenty of laptops for everyone!
Do parents need to stay during classes?
No, not unless they want to. Parents are welcome to sit in the waiting area or enjoy a cup of coffee or tea in the kitchen or lounge area. We have WiFi if you need to work.
What is the cost of a class?
Each semester runs eight week classes. The cost per semester is $200. Please ask us about our family discount and referral program.
How old do you need to be to take classes here?
Most students are between 6-16. Some can start with chess as early as 5.
Who are the chess instructors?
Our instructors are FIDE Chess Master Dov Gorman and Chess Expert Kameliia Sharuda. They are assisted by Elite chess players Ben and Noah.
How do I know in which chess class to register my child?
Upper level players are usually rated. If your child is unrated one of our instructors will be happy to do a quick evaluation and make a recommendation.
Do I need a USCF rating to play in the Sunday tournaments?
No. However, you need to have a US Chess Federation membership which we provide if you take one of our chess classes. You will get rated after your first USCF tournament.
Is there a chess program for teens?
Absolutely! Teens meet on Sundays at 5 pm for socializing and friendly games of chess.
Will we need to buy books for the math classes?
No, they are included in your tuition. Math students will receive Beast Academy practice and guide books or they will use The Art of Problem Solving.
What is the difference between Enrichment and Competitive math classes?
Classes of the same grade level will cover approximately the same material. However, the competitive math instruction will move through the material much faster and will have more emphasis on preparing for upcoming math competitions.
Engineering, Coding, & Design
What is Scratch coding?
Scratch coding is a simple visual coding language developed by the MIT Media Lab. We use it in many classes and camps, including intro robotics and coding.
What kind of robots are at the Center?
We have cute round Spherobots that will roll all over the place until you learn to program and control them. We also have Lego Mindstorms EV3 robots that you can design, build, and program to complete tasks (or battle!).
Do you have drones?
Of course! Drones are an exciting part of our Flight Engineering summer camp. The last day of camp has an exciting Drone Obstacle Course Competition. Don’t miss it!
What is Unity?
Unity is a cross-platform game engine that supports a variety of desktop, mobile, console, and virtual reality platforms. We use it for game design (check out our CYO Minecraft World in Unity summer camp) and VR programs!
What Parents Are Saying
“We have been extremely happy at SJIC. Both of our boys have been coming here for the last six weeks and they’ve really learned a lot while having fun. The camp weeks have been very stimulating but our boys have embraced each week and always leave with smiles on their faces. The staff is very friendly and professional as well. Great job SJIC!!”
“South Jersey Innovation Center is a place where children can learn new skills and knowledge. The employees at the center are very friendly and helpful. I highly recommend this center if you want your children to grow up to be versatile, educated people.”
“My 15 year old daughter calls SJIC “The Happiest Place in South Jersey.” Full of positive energy and kids who are energized to do things they love (She is here for chess but the same positive energy permeates the other classes). The teachers are calm, enthusiastic, encouraging and expert – Dov Gorman and Kameliia Sahruda, who teach chess are particularly excellent.”
“My bright Daughter has finally found her ‘place.’ The South Jersey Innovation Center has provided her with a community that facilitates her learning style and expectations. The staff is friendly and great with the children. This has become her first place to go and my favorite place to take her.”
“Great gem in South Jersey for kids to learn chess, robotics, math and coding. Friendly and welcoming staff. My 5 year old daughter loves to attend her classes. They patiently teach the kids and have a lot of technical study options for kids. I visualize my child learning more here for many years in all the variety of options offered here.”
“Innovation Center is truly an amazing place. The instructors really care about each and every child’s development, take the time to get to know them and help them reach their full potential. All while having fun. I highly recommend the classes here.”
The best way to stay updated is through our mailing list! Sign up now to see the latest events, offerings, and more from SJIC.
20000 Horizon Way, Suite 600A
Mt. Laurel, NJ 08054