youngmakersprogram

If you can imagine it, you can make it!

How can we give more kids the opportunity to make things and bring them to exhibit at Maker Faire? That was the question asked first by Tony DeRose of Pixar, who realized how much he and his family enjoyed working on a project and exhibiting it at Maker Faire and wanted to help provide a similar opportunity for others. In collaboration with Tony and the Exploratorium, MAKE and Maker Faire have organized the Young Makers program, starting first in the Bay Area in 2010.  In our second year we introduced the idea of local “Maker Clubs." Meeting at schools or in a parent-run garage or workshop, 100 young makers and 50 adult volunteers participated in 20 or so clubs, and approximately 40 project teams exhibited at Bay Area Maker Faire 2011. Now in our third year, we had 300 makers and mentors in the Bay Area alone, and dozens of clubs across the continent, with nearly 70 projects exhibited at Maker Faire Bay Area 2012.

The Young Makers Program intends to connect like-minded young people with adult mentors and fabricators and to organize opportunities for kids to dream up and develop projects for Maker Faire each year. We encourage kids to develop projects based on their own interests and ideas. Projects have included a pedal-powered trolley, 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.

Sign up to start a Maker Club, to join one, or just to learn more.

For more information, visit our Overview and the How to participate page, read our Edutopia post or the ASEE Prism article, or watch this 10-minute piece from PBS NewsHour or this 2-minute micro-documentary. If you are ready start a club of your own, or need some advice for conitnuing your existing club, download our Maker Club Playbook.

2013 Kickoff meeting, November 15

Want to start or continue a Maker Club in your area?
Interested in mentoring a Young Maker? 
Are you a parent of a Young Maker who wants to connect with other parents?
Just want to find out more about the program?

If so, please join us for this organizational meeting to kick off the 2013 season of the Young Makers Program.

When: Thursday, November 15, 6:30-8:00pm
Where: The Exploratorium in San Francisco
How: For planning purposes it will help us if you RSVP using this link.

Although the evening will focus on the program whose regional meetings occur in the Bay Area, we welcome participants who would like to start clubs and regional hubs everywhere and anywhere.

In past years the Bay Area regional monthly meetings have taken place from January through April at the Exploratorium. The Exploratorium will be closed during that period in 2013 in preparation for their move to the Embarcadero, so we'll be moving our monthly activities. Please attend the meeting for more details.

The meeting is intended for adults only. It should run about an hour, after which attendees are welcome to mingle with one another. (Please note that the museum will have closed at 5.) Light refreshments will be served.

Thanks to our friends at the Exploratorium, Karen Wilkinson and Mike Petrich, for hosting this meeting, and for hosting the program for the past three years!

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