Saturdays in the D — Summer camp and adult skills enrichment experience are back

Source: City of Detroit and Michigan News

In partnership with University of Michigan and the Detroit Public Schools Community District, the city of Detroit is bringing back Saturdays in the D. It’s a free program that provides fun, enriching activities for 75-100 Detroit youth (middle and high school) and 100 adults.  Residents will have the opportunity to develop new skills from a diverse curriculum of programs focusing on life skills, academics, and extracurricular activities.

“We are thrilled that Detroit youths participating in the program this year will have the opportunity to experience higher learning on the campus of one of the world’s best universities,” said Mayor Mike Duggan. “Adults in our community will also be introduced to enrichment courses as part of Saturdays in the D’s commitment to provide our residents with the tools and skills to succeed.”

The 2023 pilot program will offer enrichment opportunities focused on STEM/STEAM camps offered by  the University of Michigan that encourages learning and exposes students to new skills, interests, and potential career considerations.

Councilwoman Mary Waters, At-Large, who is a former teacher at Cass Tech High School and University of Michigan alum, shared her excitement for the return of the month-long enrichment programs for residents. 

“Mayor Duggan and I have worked hard with the University of Michigan to ensure that the camps and adult learning courses are accessible and impactful to our residents. We look forward to this pilot and its positive outcomes. It’s a great unifying point for U-M and the City of Detroit, and we are proud to launch this programming at Saturdays in the D,” said Councilwoman Waters.

James Hilton, U-M vice provost for academic innovation, said the Saturdays in the D program is a great way to enhance online and certificate-based learning to create more impactful in-person experiences.

“We’re excited to be part of this program and see it as a key factor in helping us provide workforce development opportunities that are meaningful to Detroiters because they will be shaped by community members,” he said.

Student Programming

Any student in the 7th – 12th grades who lives in Detroit is eligible to participate in traditional enrichment and recreational programming. All camps are open to all students regardless of gender and will take place at the Ann Arbor campus of the University of Michigan, except where otherwise noted. Transportation will be provided for those students requesting assistance.

This year’s programming includes:

WISE Girls in Science and Engineering Girls in Science and Engineering is a day camp June 19-23 for rising 7th and 8th grade students seeking a hands-on STEM experience that is both fun and challenging. Choose a major – robotics, science+, or Climate Changemakers – and spend the week exploring it in some of the most advanced labs in the world learning from some world-class students and faculty on the UM Ann Arbor campus.

WISE Python Bootcamp WISE Python Bootcamp introduces students to programming using Python in a fun and supportive environment. In addition to hands-on coding activities, campers will participate in fun group competitions and meet computer science professionals to learn about CS careers.

Galaxy Girls+ Galaxy Girls+ is a 5-day residential camp for current 9th grade students offered in partnership with the Detroit Area Pre-College Engineering Program. During the program, Scholars will live on the U-M Ann Arbor campus and become immersed in aerospace engineering and space science. Scholars will have the opportunity to work closely with college students and interact with aerospace faculty as they design, build and test their own water rockets. Students of any gender are welcome to apply.

NAF Future Ready Scholars NAF Future Ready Scholars is a multi-year, STEM-focused career and college readiness program offered to high school students. Participating students spend two weeks in an immersive summer camp at the University of Michigan Ann Arbor, engaging in the Engineering Design Process to solve problems that matter to them.

Joy of Coding Bootcamp (online)

The Joy of Coding, scheduled from June 21 – August 2, is an online course specially created for anyone who wants to experience first-hand the power and thrill of coding computers to do amazing things. Created with high school students in mind, it is a great way for anyone to step into the wondrous world of coding. Participants will learn to code at their own pace (no scheduled lectures) with support from Michigan ECE faculty and students.

Adult Programming 

The program is being designed by the Center for Academic Innovation to offer 100 adults the opportunity to select from four courses made available through the university’s online education platform, Michigan Online. Each course will feature online and in-person elements.  In-person sessions will be hosted at the University of Michigan Detroit Center on Woodward.  Upon successful completion of the 6-week program, parents/guardians will receive a certificate of course completion. Parent/Adult course offerings 

  • Programming for Everybody: Getting Started with Python
  • Writing and Editing: Word Choice and Word Order
  • Emotional Intelligence: Cultivating Intensely Human Interactions
  • Science of Success: What Researchers Know that You Should Know

Other Resources:

  • In addition to the classes, the U-M Admissions Office will be available for any participant in the adult program who is interested in pursuing higher education at U-M as a new student or a transfer student.
  • Detroit-based U-M alumni will also be on hand to act as peer mentors for adult participants.
  • Detroit at Work will also supply career coaching for parents to explore job opportunities, be connected to training, and take advantage of employment barrier removal support services.


Residents must register to participate in the Saturdays in the D adult and student programs. Registration timelines vary.

Adult Programming: Register Here

  • Program runs July 8 – August 12
  • Eligible: Any Detroit resident, 18+

Youth Programming:

  • WISE Girls in Science and Engineering: Register Here
    • Daily camp runs June 19 – June 23
    • Eligible: Current 6th and 7th graders
  • WISE Python Bootcamp: Register Here
    • Daily camp runs July 24 – July 28
    • Eligible: 9th – 12th graders
  • Galaxy Girls+: Apply  Here
    • Residential camp runs July 9 – July 14
    • Eligible: Current 8th and 9th graders
  • NAF Future Ready Scholars: Apply Here
    • Residential camp runs July 23 – August 5
    • Eligible: Current 9th, 10th, and 11th graders
  • Joy of Coding (online): Apply Here
    • Online only bootcamp runs June 21 – Aug 2
    • Eligible: 13+ and successfully complete a pre-requisite screening module

Planning is underway for the Saturdays in the D 2024 season, which will include new Detroit-based youth camps and adult learning opportunities.

Back to News + Stories