The free summer project series called Maker Camp launches today. Get all the fun of camp, without having to go outside and deal with the mosquitoes!

A Camp for Young Makers

Maker Camp is for young makers interested in DIY projects, making, creating, crafting, hacking, tinkering, and learning. It puts focus on STEM and STEAM essentials, and helps young people learn key science concepts while they’re having a great time exploring projects. It launches in tandem with the National Week of Making.

Getting students excited about making is one of the best ways possible to prepare them creatively and technically for the society we’ll have tomorrow,” says Make: CEO and founder Dale Dougherty. “Our goal is to help more people organize maker-themed summer camps for kids and create positive experiences that use making to help learn about science, technology, art, engineering, and math.”

It’s Time to Start Making

This year, Maker Camp is organized around the projects and approaches explained in Start Making!, a book that grew from a collaborative project of the Boston Museum of Science and the Lifelong Kindergarten group at the MIT Media Lab.

The Start Making! program emphasizes the need to eliminate the barriers that intimidate some kids away from considering STEM concepts. The program additionally offers “hooks” to attract students of all types, using the textile and musical arts, performance, and movement to involve participants. Start Making! also provides experiences that guarantee success and create a safe place for failure, so that kids enjoy the journey right from the start.

There will be six project sets drawn from Start Making! that campers can complete and explore at their own pace.

Pushing the Camp to New Heights

DK Publishing is joining the team this year as a supporting sponsor to make sure it’s the best Maker Camp ever. They are offering four additional projects for Maker Camp participants this summer, drawing from their two popular books, Out of the Box and Maker Lab.

Author Jemma Westing’s Out of the Box offers 25 interactive cardboard projects that encourage creative, or “out of the box,” thinking. Publisher’s Weekly lauded Out of the Box for being “a book pitched at both sides of a child’s brain.”

Jack Challoner’s award-winning title Maker Lab features 28 super cool projects laid out with step-by-step instructions that allow kids to work independently while having fun, prompting Booklist to praise it for offering “endless opportunities for STEM-related discussions.”

No Need to Camp Solo

Although Maker Camp projects and resources are online, its robust affiliate program allows campers to meet up in-person and work on projects together. In 2016, there were nearly 800 Maker Camp affiliate locations, including public libraries, community centers, 4-H Clubs, private homes, museums, schools, and Intel Computer Club Houses.

Maker Camp director Bridget Rigby says that she is anticipating greater interaction among the affiliates this summer. “Maker Camp affiliates help campers to become creative problem solvers, visionary thinkers, and courageous doers,” she says. “Affiliate leaders will develop their own Maker mindset through camp leadership, too! We’ll give our affiliates everything they need to build an awesome program in their community, inspiring the next generation of Makers.”

Since its launch in 2012, Maker Camp and its affiliates have hosted over 1 million attendees across the globe, with over 50,000 campers in 2016 alone. Maker Camp affiliate leaders encourage their campers to upload and share what they’ve been making with other Maker Camp participants around the globe using the hashtag #MakerCamp. Some of the most prolific campers of past years have lived in Israel, Jordan, India, South Africa, and Australia.

Get Started

Maker Camp 2017 begins today! This year’s projects include working with paper circuits, music, programming, LEDs, light painting, 3D sculpting, art bots, and fabric circuits.

To learn more about Maker Camp, become an affiliate, or register as an individual, please visit MakerCamp.com.