Young Makers at the Exploratorium

We’re thrilled to be heading back to the Exploratorium this Saturday for the first Young Makers event put on by Make, the Exploratorium, TechShop, and Pixar.

Here’s a little bit about the program from Make’s writeup: “It’s a first experiment in a new program we call Young Makers, in which we intend to create an infrastructure to nurture kids who want to learn by making, beyond what they can do with construction kits. We hope to fulfill a dire need: satisfying a little bit of what shop classes used to do before they, lamentably, started getting booted out of schools.”

We hope to see you there this Saturday between 11 am and 3 pm. There will be BristleBot building going on, as well as BlinkyBug building with our friend Ken Murphy. Ken also has an exhibit called A History of the Sky that is at the Exploratorium through the end of the month and is definitely worth seeing. If you can’t make it this weekend, they’ve got a great line-up of folks for the last Saturday of each month leading up to Maker Faire:

February 27th: Wearables & Soft Circuitry — Adrian Freed

March 27th: Make Your Own Kind of Music — Walter Kitundu and Krys Bobrowski

April 24th: Motors & Mechanisms — Brad Prether and Ernie Fosselius

Update: Dale Dougherty posted an article about the event here.

4 thoughts on “Young Makers at the Exploratorium

  1. This must be the appropriate spot to post my usual flame: The problem is NOT getting kids interested in science/technology. It’s KEEPING them interested after they discover that they can’t actually launch that model rocket without a permit (unobtainable), can’t do the more advanced stuff anyway (requires BATF permit, not available till you’re 21), chemistry glassware equates to "drug paraphernalia" (and/or "terrorist bomb maker"), people who take projects to school get visits from the local police and suggestions for "counseling", and WAY too much stuff is just labeled "too dangerous." (and that’s without bringing up all those high-tech friends of the parents who are laid-off or afraid of being laid off, and the space program getting cut some more, and…)

    1. It is true that in today’s world, cya and wtf has replaced wow. However, as is the nature of things when one door becomes stuck, another opens.

      While it’s not for everyone, my wife and I homeschool our kids. In a reasonably major metro area, even. (Boise, ID). (Yes, Boise is metro. We got indoor plumbing just last year. )

      There are other alternatives ~ charter schools, local clubs (even in Boise we have robotics users groups and other "make" activities) and community activities to be found. (

      While they haven’t launched rockets that require permits, they have done more than a few air and water launches. (thank you MAKE!) They’ve launched a few estes rockets. Done more than a bit of fun with black powder. (under supervision, of course) Torn apart computers, vcrs, dvd players, and whatever other old electronics I could scrounge. Regularly use hot glue and power drills, hammers, nails and duct tape.

      The oldest is 9, the youngest is 9 months. (we don’t let her use the drills yet)

      My point is not to toot my own horn, but to say that there *are* alternatives. Even if you don’t go the homeschool or charter school route, I believe ultimately your kids can be taught by YOU! :))

      (note: all the above activities were done during "off school hours")

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