Kaleidoscope Maker Camp: All STEM & Smiles

Kaleidoscope Maker Camp: All STEM & Smiles

[Sandy Roberts shares her inspiring Kaleidoscope Maker Camp experience with us! Maker Camp is a self-service virtual camp for anyone (but particularly kids aged 7-12) interested in DIY, making, creating, crafting, hacking, tinkering, and discovery. See (and make!) these great Maker Camp projects. Start your own Maker Camp!]

This is my 4th year as a Maker Camp Affiliate, and I can honestly say I look forward to it more each year. After all, it’s a chance for me to try new things and stretch myself as an educator and a Maker.

Makers learn that many things – including fruit like bananas and oranges – can transmit electrical signals as they play the piano using a Makey Makey.

What I love the most about Maker Camp is that it combines so many different engaging elements into one program. It draws from art, science, engineering, technology, crafting and more to expose kids to new ideas. It puts new tools in their hands, introduces them to the cutting edge of technology and design, then asks, “What will you make?” That’s powerful.

And then it gives them free reign to play and create and innovate on their own terms. I’ve watched some of the shyest kids become heroes to classmates when they solve a tough problem. I’ve seen kids with ADHD, autism and other SLD issues build confidence in the unique people they are. I’ve seen kids learn to work in teams, support one another, share ideas and develop a deep sense of mutual respect for one another in a way that just doesn’t happen in a typical classroom.

A young maker at Warren County NJ Headquarters Library built a tall marble launcher from toilet paper rolls and cardboard as part of our “Build It Big” themed day.

Every child is a Maker; they all have some special gift, some special way of seeing how to put it all together. Maker Camp gives them the forum — the freedom — to do that, to try new things fearlessly.

There is nothing else like Maker Camp. I’m already looking forward to next year, and so are my kids.

Kaleidoscope Maker Camp Themes for 2016

  • Makerware: Express yourself with science! Make color-changing t-shirts, create glow-in-the-dark necklaces, enjoy the Mad Science selfie station and fashion Totally Rad DIY snap bracelets.
  • Build It Big: Create awesome engineering projects like gravity-defying marble roller coasters and wild soda straw constructs.
  • Tech Craft: Use amazing technology like 3D printing, digital cutting and electronic circuits to make cool toys. Try out 3D printing pens too!
  • Olde Time Makers: Turn back time as we explore soap making, paper making, book binding, leather working and more!
  • The Future is NOW: Get hands-on with lots of robots, a quadcopter drone, and virtual reality.

mc29About Sandy Roberts, Kaleidoscope Maker Camp Coordinator

Our lead educator, Sandy Roberts, is an NJ certified math and science teacher, nationally recognized by the National Science Teacher’s Association, and a trained scientist with a degree from Stevens Institute of Technology. She has taught Maker Camp programs for 4 years and even been given two awards for Maker Faire projects.

More Information

Definitely check out their image gallery, full of happy kids making:

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Will Chase

Will Chase is the Director of Content and Community for Maker Media.

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