Kids want to be inventors when they grow up, but why wait til then? MakerKids is making that happen for kids in and around Toronto as they spark creativity and teach the technical skills to manifest their ideas. A non-profit workshop space in Roncesvalles, Makerkids is one of the only makerspaces in the world where kids can learn about and get their hands dirty with woodworking, robotics, 3D printing, and electronics.
I happily stumbled upon MakerKids when searching for summer camps for my nephew, Legend. He's the coolest kid I know, bursting with energy and creativity and technological know-how that never fails to impress me. I find myself scratching my head as he shows me the latest features on YouTube, his photoediting skills, or his recordings of his Minecraft sessions. He lives in a world that makes me - a twenty something Millenial that lives and breathes the online social space - feel old and outdated.
Being the nerd/tiger-aunt person that I am, I wanted to find a camp that would appeal to his strengths and interests, challenge him in a productive way, and make it fun all at the same time. Luckily, I found MakerKids' Inventors camp where they would spend the week thinking up an idea for an invention and building it all from scratch. Everyday I would pick him up from camp and he would teach me something new about Arduino, woodworking, and robotics. By the end of the week, he had built his very own life-size wolf complete with audio howling! And we're continuing the project at home before the summer ends, painting the wolf and adding little details to it to make it even more realistic.
MakerKids is such an awesome initiative that gives kids the opportunity to make what they find in their imagination a physical reality. It fills a serious void currently found in our education system; that is, a hands-on and creative experience that mixes learning and play. The kids go beyond what they would learn exclusively in textbooks, and actually explore science, technology, and engineering in a way that engages their imagination, hands, and brains. They think, design, experiment, and create...all while having fun! Who knew!
So for all the mommies and daddies in the GTA, check out MakerKids at www.makerkids.ca.