Our Maker Corps & Maker Camp experiences here at Digital Harbor Foundation have been great, and we are very excited about what our campers have done so far! We have completed 2 two-week sessions of camp, one focused on 3D Printing and the other focused on Electronics, and we have one more session to go. We’ve had a great time working together as Maker Corps Members and getting to know each of the campers we’ve met.
Courtney & campers working on a Squishy Circuit Christmas Tree
Jon helping a camper with his 3D design
Session One, “3D Printing: Bring Your Designs to Life“, started off a little rocky, because it was our first session of the summer and our wi-fi was broken at the Tech Center; however, it ended well and the kids ended up with awesome projects to share at the end of their two weeks with us. The campers learned the basics of 3D design and 3D printing. They were introduced to Tinkercad, which is an easy to learn online tool that’s used for 3D design. Then, they were set free to explore on their own and begin brainstorming for their independent projects. We had everything from money clips to Pokémon characters, and board games to model houses. The campers did an awesome job and they were thrilled to share their 3D creations with their family, friends, and the community at our showcase. You can read more about our first session of camp in this post: Maker Camp Session One was a Success.
Darius (our resident 3D printing expert) (center) teaching Adelie & Jon more about the Printrbot Simple 3D printer he built
Keimmie giving feedback to campers on their 3D designs
Session Two, “Electronics: Make Your Own Gadgets with Circuits“, was very different, and we were excited to dive into something new. We started camp by introducing them to Squishy Circuits, Snap Circuits, Arduinos, soldering, and much more. At times they seemed a little overwhelmed by all of the information, but they were enthusiastic about learning so many new things. Before they dove into their independent projects, we had them work on LED t-shirts and bubble machines, which didn’t work out as well as we planned, but the kids were able to learn from their mistakes and move past it. The kids were so excited to jump into their independent projects, and they had awesome ideas. We had a lot of different projects such as LED light up shoes, light up hoodies, and a high-five photo booth made with MaKey MaKey. All of their projects turned out great! You can read more about our second session of camp in this post: Lights Out! Electronics Camp is a Wrap.
Adelie working with a camper to help him solder his circuit board
Keimmie working with campers to assemble their LED name tags
Keimmie teaching Courtney to solder, working together on a project
Now we are two thirds of the way through the summer, and we only have one more session to go! Our second 3D Printing session is already underway, and we are looking forward to working with more youth, teaching more 3D printing, and helping create more awesome projects!
If you would like to keep up with what we are doing for the rest of the summer, you can follow our blog at www.digitalharbor.org/blog/.
During week one of Electronics Camp, the campers learned all about the various electronic opportunities provided for them in our maker space. Some of these activities included learning the basics of an Arduino as well as, Snap Circuits, Squishy Circuits, soldering, wearables, circuits and breadboards.
We ended the week by making cool light up shirts using LEDs and soldering.
The second week was all about independent creativity as students were encouraged to figure out and create their own electronics related projects. While the students still had directed projects such as the eye catcher which used a motor to spin a disk, some students used the eye catcher to make spin art. It was very interesting how such a basic project could produce so many different results.
Many students decided make wearables which was great as they were able to show of rad LED shoes, shirts, hats and about anything else you could attach an LED strip too. There were also a fair bit of campers doing other wonderful things such as designing their own plush video game controllers, 3D printed robot, circuit bent keyboards, and musical oscillators.
The camp was a great success as all the campers learned a lot about electronics and had a blast doing it! Check out all the cool results for yourself on the campers’ blog posts here: DHF Electronics Camp on Tackk
Maker Camp Session 1 got off to a rough start because the Tech Center had no internet; however our campers made the most of it and didn’t let it slow them down. We started off camp with cardboard challenges, icebreakers, and clay or Lego models. Once the internet was back up and running, the campers were introduced to Tinkercad, an online tool used for 3D design. They worked through tutorials on their own to learn the basics of 3D design and the tool itself.
Our campers were introduced to Tackk, an online documentation tool, where they kept daily journals of what they did, what they learned, and what their favorite thing was. You can check their posts here and see what some of their creations and ideas were.
At the start of week two they were set free from our reigns, and brainstormed ideas of what they could work on for their independent projects. The only rule they were given was that it had to be a series of something, such as related objects or multiple versions of the same object. Some of the ideas that our campers came up with included bow ties, house models, Mars bases, and various Game Boy models.
On Friday, they were able to share all of their creations and documentation with their families, friends, and the public. Overall, we heard tons of good feedback from our campers and they seemed to really enjoy themselves. We had a blast working with them and getting to know them all, and we can’t wait to see what the rest of the summer has in store for us.
Looking for some family fun? Enjoying working on projects together with your family? Join us for our monthly Family Make Night! This month, we will be creating objects to test principles of flight and aerodynamics in our wind tubes. Flying Object Olympics will be our Family Make Night project this month!
Using some very common household objects – like coffee filters, string, paper cups and bowls, etc. – each family will create a variety of flying objects to compete against each other in a series of aerial challenges using our wind tubes. This will be a very open-ended creative evening, sure to be a lot of fun for children (and adults!) of all ages! So bring the whole family to the Tech Center to check out our July Family Make Night event!
June Family Make Night will be held Wednesday, July 23 6:30pm at the Digital Harbor Foundation Tech Center. Family Make Night is FREE to participate, but we do ask that each family (up to 6 people) register ahead of time. More details are available on the Registration page below.
Maker Camp at DHF has begun, and we are having a blast! The first session of camp was focused on 3D design and fabrication. We had a group of twelve awesome students who are between 11 and 15 years old.
We started off the week with no Internet, so we improvised with Lego/clay projects, and the campers’ favorite, cardboard challenges. The campers had a blast, and it was so fun to see them become more and more creative as the week went on.
Once the Internet returned, they spent the majority of their time learning the basics. They received an introduction to the 3D printers; as well as the different types of filament and different programs that they could use for designing purposes. They all had a chance to explore on their own and create a few sample designs.
After their exploration, they were given a specific task. Each of them recreated their castle design that they made out of Legos or clay on the first day of camp. For some of them it was a challenge to transfer what was physically in front of them to a program on the computer, however by the end of the day they all did a fantastic job and ended up with awesome designs.
Week One has been very successful, and starting next week they will begin brainstorming and working on their own independent projects. I can’t wait to see what they all come up with!
On June 13th, we had an enthusiastic group of volunteers visiting from Ohio via a service trip withThe Foundry.
We started off the day outside in front of the Tech Center for a brief overview of our organization. Then we headed inside for a tour. The volunteers were awestruck by the scope of the youth projects and with the venue in general as they explored the hovercraft and 3D printers. The volunteer group was so impressed by what they saw that a few of them expressed interest in having a place like ours back in their home state of Ohio!
After touring the inside areas we headed back outside. As soon as we stepped out, it started to rain. Not to worry, we had indoor projects too! The group split into three teams. Two teams worked on chalking two of our blackboard painted doors and one group cleaned the side entrance. Once the weather calmed down, they went outside and worked on improving the landscaping of the Tech Center’s side alley and front yard. The volunteers hauled away around 20 bags of trash and yard debris. The group even took down an invasive tree!
Overall, despite the disruptive rain showers they accomplished the tasks with flying colors and contributed to a healthy environment for our youth and the community. Thank you so much to everyone who pitched in to make this day a success and helped to beautify our space!
This summer we are excited to have 4 new youth employees working at DHF in partnership with Youth Works. They will be involved in a number of exciting projects and giving a helping hand to their directors. They will gain valuable experience that will help them understand the professional world. Today, we would like to introduce them all and share a little bit of information about each of them.
On May 28, the Digital Harbor Foundation Tech Center hosted our Spring Youth Showcase. The MegaLab was abuzz with excitement as 16 of our Members presented their projects to the community. We were extremely pleased with their hard work and dedication in the months leading to their presentations, and we doubled the number of presenting members from the last showcase!
The youth projects were incredibly varied, representing the incredible innovation and array of talent that is present in the MegaLab. Several new Members joined our first cohort of Members and were welcomed by the community.
Brendan presented his hovercraft and welcomed guests to take rides into bowling pins! Brendan provided a baseball helmet to ensure the safety of participants. Guests of all ages eagerly rode the craft as Brendan explained his process.