Maker Camp FAQ

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Frequently Asked Questions

Each year Make: produces a seasonal program, designed as an exploration of all things Do-It-Yourself for young makers. Maker Camp is an online program where you will find hundreds of step-by-step projects, ideas, inspiration, and community. At Maker Camp, our camp motto is “Explore-Make-Share.”

We welcome Makers of all ages and skill levels: advanced Makers can take our projects to the next level or serve as mentors to those who are just getting started. Homes, libraries, schools, museums, makerspaces, clubs, and other community centers worldwide open their doors to become local hubs of creativity, invention, curiosity, and togetherness: making.

Anyone can host a Maker Camp. Camp sites are hosted by schools, makerspaces, libraries, camps, and youth organizations. Some camps are hosted by families or neighborhood groups of friends. We welcome Makers of all ages and skill levels. Beginners new to the Maker Movement are welcome to explore and learn. Advanced Makers can take our projects to the next level or serve as mentors to those who are just getting started. We are all makers and everyone is welcome to hold a Maker Camp.

Our camp leaders come from all walks of life. Some are experienced Makers interested in sharing what they know. Others are educators, both formal and informal, who plan summer programs for students in their communities. People who provide educational programming at schools, daycare centers, libraries, museums, churches, day camps, after-school clubs, and other locations often use Maker Camp as a way to stay connected over the summer. Some parents host camps for their families and friends. Lastly, some Makers choose to participate on their own, finding community through our online groups.

A Maker Camp Site is a maker, educator, parent, or another adult member of the maker community that agrees to host Maker Camp activities for children. Participating as a Maker Camp Site is free and available to any person or organization with an interest in helping kids create, innovate, and make.

The Camp Site can:

  • Select whatever Maker Camp projects fit their community’s interests.
  • Develop a camp structure that makes sense for their campers and the community.
  • Celebrate camper projects and creativity with the community.
  • Interact with other Maker Camp Sites online through the discussion board by asking questions, offering insights, posting project ideas, and sharing pictures or videos of campers at work.
  • Seek to develop their Maker Mindset and model it for their campers.

Maker Camp provides project ideas and instructions, support through our interactive website, email newsletters, online community, and visibility through our social media channels and/or website.

No! Though we officially hold Maker Camp for 6 weeks over the summer starting in July, the projects can be used any time of year for clubs, camps, in-school activities, and other programs. Once you register you’ll have access to the entire project library, the Maker Camp group, and other items until the next summer season kicks off. We’re also available all year at [email protected] to offer support and answer questions.

Participation in Maker Camp is free for leaders and campsites. There is no cost to register, access our project’s step-by-step instructions, be a part of our online community, view and participate in online events, or license our branding materials. Maker Camps are expected to supply their own materials, find their own staff, and secure their own locations for meetings, as well as any necessary insurance for using your chosen location.

Maker Camps can be held just about anywhere. Makerspaces, schools, libraries, museums, day and overnight camps, parks and playgrounds, churches, recreation department spaces, community centers, and homes are all popular locations.

Maker Camps can be held with materials of all kinds. In general, collect recycled materials, lots of cardboard, craft supplies, and basic tools to get started. From there, you may add technology such as computers, microcontrollers, electronics components, STEM building kits, 3D printers, etc. Whatever your budget, you can host a Maker Camp.

Each Maker Camp project lists the materials needed. You can also sort Maker Camp projects based on your available materials. Refer to the Maker Camp Playbook for more suggestions.

You can also purchase supplies from our Maker Shed. Everything from a Maker Camp Sampler Box to individual kits as well as a large library of books are available in the Maker Shed.

Maker Camp provides a limited number of Sampler Boxes to camps that meet specific criteria. Sadly we cannot provide these boxes to every camp at this time. However, you can purchase your own Maker Camp Sampler Box, as well as other materials, at our Maker Shed.

Invite kids from your community to make! You can find campers through your local schools, libraries, clubs, and community organizations. It’s important to get the word out through both traditional means and social media. We have a variety of free promotional materials available for you to use to publicize your camp.

We have also paired up with Science Near Me, a project sponsored by the National Science Foundation. Science Near Me is a free resource and website that helps parents quickly find opportunities to engage in all types of science, technology, engineering, math, (STEM) events, projects, and programs in their area, either in-person and online.

When you register for your Maker Camp you will also be asked to complete a Camp Information form. There you’ll have the option to have your information added to Science Near Me, increasing your visibility.

If you aren’t ready to start your own Maker Camp, but still want to participate, you can find a local camp site to enroll your young makers or to share your expertise with the next generation.

This year, we have paired up with Science Near Me, a project sponsored by the National Science Foundation. Science Near Me is a free resource and website that helps parents quickly find opportunities to engage in all types of science, technology, engineering, math, (STEM) events, projects, and programs in their area, either in-person and online.

Visit Science Near Me regularly to find local Maker Camps and other great STEM opportunities in your community.

Once you are registered for Maker Camp, you will have access to your personal Maker Camp Dashboard. This Dashboard will have a variety of materials, including access to our Maker Camp Project Library (coming soon!) with hundreds of step-by-step projects.

These projects are organized by our Makeyland themes but can also be filtered based on age, the time it takes to complete the project, the materials needed, and the type of skills learned. Each project has instructions, photos and video, additional resources, and a materials list. Projects can be viewed online or printed.

You can also submit your favorite Maker Camp projects to help build our project library. This is a great way to share your expertise and support our Maker Camp Community. These projects will be available to all Maker Camp Sites.

Be sure to check out the offerings on Maker Campus as well, where you can take live, online classes from fellow Makers to expand your knowledge while having hands-on fun.

Need even more ideas? Dozens of project books, in both print and digital form, are available for purchase through the Maker Shed. Summer is a great time to expand your personal library, learn new techniques, and build your skills. 

Once you are registered for Maker Camp, you will have access to our online Maker Camp Leader community group and message board. You can find this group on your Dashboard under “My Groups,” from the left-hand menu under groups, or directly at Maker Camp 2022 (once registered).

Our online community group is a great place to ask questions about projects or anything else related to Maker Camp. This group is where both new and experienced Maker Camp Community Partners come together to share ideas, offer support, and celebrate their campers. Maker Camp staff also checks in regularly to answer questions and share announcements about upcoming events. You can check the group online or have a digest sent to your email account.

We have a Maker Camp Playbook available for anyone that is interested in learning more about running a Maker Camp. It includes planning ideas, project inspiration, instructions for using the Maker Camp website, tips and tricks for a successful camp, and additional resources.

We also suggest you follow Maker Camp on social media — Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram — for fun Maker Camp projects ideas, relevant Maker Camp classes, and other information that will help you plan and implement your Maker Camp.

We would love to answer them or hear your ideas, suggestions, and feedback. Please email us at [email protected].

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