Young makers and expanded learning opportunities

From YoungMakers.org

The Young Makers Program is a San Francisco-based organization that “connects like-minded young people with adult mentors and fabricators and to organize opportunities for kids to dream up and develop projects for the annual Bay area Maker Faire.”

We encourage kids to develop projects based on their own interests and ideas. Projects have included furniture that doubles as a hamster habitat, a fire-breathing dragon, a seesaw water pump, an animatronic galloping horse, and a mobile spy camera.

We all work together to create a collaborative culture of creativity, innovation and experimentation. In addition, we bring the clubs together monthly at the Exploratorium to explore different kinds of making and to talk about their own work in progress. In the Young Makers Program, there are no winners and losers; the focus is on exhibition, not competition. Just like Maker Faire, anything that’s cool is fair game.

Providence HubAffiliated Young Makers clubs in the northeastern United States include the Providence, RI “Hub,”  which is part of an after-school alliance with a mission to “expand and improve quality after school, summer, and other Expanded Learning Opportunities for the youth of Providence by organizing a sustainable public private system that contributes to student success and serves as a national model.”

This video was filmed, edited, and produced by high school youth employed at The Hub in Providence.

The Makerspace Playbook: Designing places to create together

From the Makerspace program

Makerspace PlaybookThe Makerspace program integrates online tools for design and collaboration with low-cost options for physical workspaces where students may access educational support to gain practical hands-on experience with new technologies and innovative processes to design and build projects. We aim to build literacy in design, science, technology, engineering, art, and mathematics…

This playbook should  help you establish a great new community resource in your school, neighborhood, or wider local community. It shares the knowledge and experience from the Makerspace team as well as from managers who have already established
Makerspaces.

Through Makerspace, we encourage everyone to start making in your communities and schools to create  something of your own imagination. This playbook is designed to help you navigate through the issues. It is written for Makerspace managers who represent the Maker movement to the community at large and who coordinate a space used by young people  who make.

Drawdio: A Pencil that Lets You Draw Music

From Jay Silver at MIT Media Lab Lifelong Kindergarten group

Imagine you could draw musical instruments on normal paper with any pencil (cheap circuit thumb-tacked on) and then play them with your finger.

The Drawdio circuit-craft lets you MacGuyver your everyday objects into musical instruments: paintbrushes, macaroni, trees, grandpa, even the kitchen sink.

Drawdio brings to life the everyday interconnections between people and environment, encouraging you to use your sense of touch, and letting you hear otherwise invisible electrical connections by creating, remixing, and playing.

Getting started with Arduino: the $25 computer

Arduino is an international open-source project that provides a similar experience to Lego Mindstorms, but at less than 1/10th the cost. The software is free and you can build your own controller for $25 in parts. You can also buy a preassembled version at Radio Shack for $34. Above all, Arduino was designed with non-programmers in mind!

While Lego Robotics is a good introduction to building and programming for younger students, Arduino can be an inexpensive opportunity for older students (5th-12 grades and beyond).

“Making stuff expands your brain, builds your skills and, if you do it enough, makes you awesome.”

From AwesomeIsWhatWeTotallyAre.com

Young makersA funny thing happens when you make stuff. Sure, you are making something, but at the same time that something is making you. Making stuff expands your brain, builds your skills and, if you do it enough, makes you awesome.

1) You are never too young.

2) Do more than is required.

3) Help other people make stuff.

4) Have Hobbies!

5) Participate

6) Work hard!

7) Don’t stop until its AWESOME!