We ended our Taipei trip with a week at Sky kids Taipei camp, a program that offers project-based learning, language education, and cultural exchange. They currently have one location in San Francisco and three in Taipei. My kids attended the Sky Kids CIO Maker School which is considered their STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, Math) camp. During the 5-days at camp, they each designed and built a remote control car.
Sky Kids CIO Maker School Location
The camp is located within Tatung University 大同大學 in Taipei’s Zhongshan District. The nearest MRT station is an 8-minute walk from campus. We rode the public bus which stops right in front of the school. It was very convenient for us. After camp, you can visit Maji square which is a 5-minute walk, for food and activities and street performers on Friday evenings.
The Sky Kids CIO Maker Camp is intended for older kids and is held in a standard classroom setting. As you can see in the photo below, it’s very clean. By the end of the day, it looks as if a hurricane blew through a craft shop. After the students are picked up, the teachers stay behind and clean the entire class to prepare for the next day. I wish they included students in the clean-up process!
We love Sky Kids teachers!
In only one week, the Sky Kids teachers fostered a strong connection with my children. On the first day of camp, my son was scared he wouldn’t make any friends. At drop-off, he was reluctant to go in and in a sour mood. I worried all day, but at pick-up, he was so excited to tell me about all the activities. We were always the last ones there because my kids wanted to stay and hang out with the teachers. It took a few days for my children to start building friendships with the other students. Sadly it was time to return to California since winter break was coming to an end. It was a memorable experience for both of my children and they keep asking to go back next year.
The teachers also offer online tutoring for families they have met through camp. The time difference between Taiwan and California doesn’t fit our schedule but it may work for other time zones. My kids would love to see their teachers again!
Daily activities at Sky Kids Camp
On the first day of camp, my children sketched out their designs and learned about the materials and tools by building a small robot with a light-up eye. In the following days, they glued parts, learned to solder and wire their cars, and how to connect the battery pack. There’s also time for other activities such as art and play dough. Campers will spend the last day of the session completing their project playing with their creation.
Weather permitting, teachers will take campers to play soccer, relax at a nearby park, and visit the turtles at the campus fountain. Children that do not want to play sports can still enjoy the lawn, play tag, and hang out with their campmates.
Completed Camp Projects
Each camper conceptualizes their own designs so each creation is unique. I was impressed that everyone’s cars and robots were completely different. They were not building from a kit but from their own imagination!
Did their Chinese improve?
Many parents have asked me whether my children improved their Mandarin at Sky Kids. CIO Maker School is not a language program. It is intended to be a STEAM camp for children of all language levels in Mandarin and English. Students are encouraged to speak Mandarin but it is not a requirement. The teachers reported that my children were the only ones that spoke Chinese during class. My kids did learn new vocabulary from interacting with the teachers.
When a program hosts students from overseas, it’s common for the children to speak English to each other. This is a pain point for many parents that send their children to camps during holidays. If you are seeking a fully immersive language experience, Sky Kids’ Yongan program is hosted at a public school where there is only one visiting student per class. This means that campers attend school with local Taiwanese children only. Please note that siblings are also separated.
Will we return to Sky Kids?
My kids enjoyed their time at camp and want to go back next year. I hope to send my kids to a Sky Kids camp with more local Taiwanese students so that they can improve their Chinese. As long as the camp schedules align with our school holiday, yes, my kids will be excited to attend another Sky Kids camp!
How to Register for Sky Kids
Sky Kids hosts 2 weeks of camps in the winter, 3 weeks in the spring, and 11 weeks during summer break. Each week is considered one session. There are four programs to choose from for children ages 5-12. You can visit the Sky Kids website for camp dates, pricing, and registration.
Fine print: My children attended Sky Kids CIO Maker School in December 2022. I am not affiliated with Sky Kids in any way. These opinions are based on my children’s experience with the camp. The photos in this post were taken by the camp teachers and may be posted on their website as well.