Maker Camp: Going out With a Bang!

Maker Camp, a six-week virtual summer camp for teens, wraps up tomorrow. It’s been a fun, wild, and, we hope, educational ride. The final week of Maker Camp focused on the theme Make: Believe with a look at makers who specialize in fantasy creation, whether it’s building huge costumes and sets, creating video games, sculpting monsters out of clay, or digital animation.Screen Shot 2013-08-15 at 2.49.48 PM

Our last show starts at 11am PDT on Google+ and it promises to be a great one. We’re taking a field trip to the magic world of Pixar, makers of movies like Toy Story, Monsters Inc., WallE, Monster University, Cars, and Finding Nemo. Maybe you’ve heard of them.

We’ll take a tour of Pixar and conclude with a live Q&A with Pixar designers. The atrium, designed by Steve Jobs to foster creativity and collaboration among the staff, will also be a focal point of the field trip. Campers will be treated to popular characters from the award-winning animation studio.

But that’s not all.

Another highlight of the field trip will be a virtual visit from U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan who will speak about the future of STEM education and the importance of programs like Maker Camp to support the initiative.

Dale Dougherty, founder and publisher of MAKE magazine and CEO of Maker Media, will be on site for the field trip and will welcome the Secretary of Education.  Secretary Duncan will join the Google+ Hangout on Air after the Pixar Studios field trip.

“Pixar Studios is the perfect way to wrap up Maker Camp. There are few places on earth that demonstrate to kids that the wildest imaginations can convert dreams to reality,” said Dougherty. “Pixar exemplifies the notion that people who are curious and creative, makers at their soul, never stop wanting to learn and make. It’s an important message and underscores the importance of STEM in education to foster this lifelong love of learning and making.”

Here’s a quick look inside Pixar to get you ready for tomorrow:

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Maker Camp on Google+ launched in 2012 with more than one million campers adding MAKE to their circles during the six-week period. This year, the first day of camp saw more than three million visits to the Maker Camp G+ page. Since then, over 35,000 campers have joined the Maker Camp Google+ community and signed up to receive alerts about Maker Camp events.

A nationwide network of public libraries, boys and girls clubs, and makerspaces also participated in Maker Camp.

“This next generation of makers will be the innovators of exciting new products and services. We’re delighted that Secretary Duncan is joining us for our final day. Educate to Innovate and other STEM initiatives directly correlate to our own mission with programs like Maker Camp,” added Dougherty. “Even though Camp is over until next summer, it doesn’t mean kids should stop making. All the Maker Camp projects and videos from the last two years are online so kids, teachers, librarians, and makerspaces can access them all year long.”

To watch the final Maker Camp field trip to Pixar Studios and see the visit from Secretary of Education Arne Duncan, go to and follow MAKE. And thanks to everyone who participated in Maker Camp 2013. See you next year!

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Stett is a senior editor at MAKE with abiding interest in food and drink, bicycles, woodworking, and environmentally sound human enterprises. He is the father of two young makers.

He is also the co-creator of Food Forward, a documentary TV series for PBS about the innovators and pioneers changing our food system.

Contact Stett with tips and story ideas on:

*Food *Sustainable/green design *Science *Young Makers *Action sports

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