Open Make @ The Tech: Flow, this Sat!

250x250-open-makeThe spring season is as busy as can be! To get into the flow of all things maker-related, join us at The Tech Museum of Innovation in San Jose, CA on Saturday, April 26 from 10am to 2pm for a special Open Make: Flow event. The agenda is filled with fun, hands-on activities and inspiring guest speakers, all oriented around the theme of flow (electrical or otherwise!).

Activities and speakers include everything from electronics kits and paper circuits to extensive, interactive video game development platforms, music exhibits, and even Google Glass. Our Young Makers will also be finishing off the last bits of their season, just before Maker Faire Bay Area, to share their progress and projects just far.

The event is free with admission. If you’re a Young Maker, don’t forget to RSVP for the plussing session in the afternoon.

Lawrence Hall of Science’s Open Make: deBUG coming up!

Fixit Clinic at Open Make deBUG

The Lawrence Hall of Science hosts an exciting public event, Open Make: deBUG, this upcoming Saturday, April 19, 2014 from 10am to 3pm. The “deBUG” theme connects to makers and activities who are inspired by insects, as well as work related to problem-solving, tinkering, and fixing!

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Our Young Makers will also be a critical part of the event, as they prepare their projects for the upcoming Maker Faire Bay Area in San Mateo on May 17-18, 2014. Hands-on activities kick off the event in the morning and continue throughout the day. Special guests, including Dale Dougherty, the founder and CEO of Maker Media, will also be present to speak about their work and experiences.

Join us for a packed day of inspiration and making! The event is free with admission.


Maker Corps Host Sites in Miami, FL

A hot Maker Ed coalition is coming to Miami!

Patricia and Phillip Frost Museum of Science, MIAMade at The LAB Miami, and REM Learning Center’s Play Make Share Program are proud to be teaming up with Maker Education Initiative to kickstart Maker Education in Miami-Dade County Florida.

Cardboard Constructions at Patricia and Phillip Frost Museum of Science

Cardboard Constructions at Patricia and Phillip Frost Museum of Science

  • As hosts of the Maker Corps Summer Program, the three sites will engage children ages 4 through 18 and their families in maker-inspired, creative, hand-on activities that will help inspire the innovators who will build the future of our community.
  • From basic introductions to the tools of making, to micro-controller programing, our programs will collaborate on activities, resources, and talent to create a stimulating and unforgettable summer of making.
  • The youth initiated projects that result from this collaboration will be featured at the second annual Miami Mini Maker Faire, being organized by MIAMade in Miami’s Wynwood Arts District this November.

If you are in Miami or will be in Miami this summer, join our team by applying to be a Miami Maker Corps Member at one of our host sites:



MAKESHOP at Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh

A visitor shows off her creation from 2013 Maker Corps Member Nick's Wooden Automata workshop. In the background is the baseball-tossing trebuchet we built with visitors to throw a first pitch for the Pittsburgh Pirates.

A visitor shows off her creation from 2013 Maker Corps Member Nick’s Wooden Automata workshop. In the background is the baseball-tossing trebuchet we built with visitors to throw a first pitch for the Pittsburgh Pirates

by Rebecca Grabman, MAKESHOP Manager

MAKESHOP at Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh is excited to welcome a second year of Maker Corps Members in 2014! As part of the museum’s mission to provide innovative experiences that inspire joy, creativity and curiosity, MAKESHOP was created in 2011 as a place for families and children of all ages to engage in making processes using real tools and materials. From sewing and woodworking to laser cutting and 3D printing, from felting and weaving to soldering and stop-motion, we strive to provide a range of social, learner-driven, multi-layered experiences that can be scaled for all ages, from 2 to 102.


A couple of soft light-up creations made as a part of 2013 Maker Corps Member Lindsay’s Conductive Felting workshop.

Located on Pittsburgh’s North Side, we have a range of programs that reach diverse audiences across the region. Maker Corps Members can expect to not only learn about and facilitate visitor use of a wide variety of tools and processes, but to also engage our community in a number of different ways including: day-to-day work with visitors and families, planning and running youth (ages 10+) programs, helping with Pittsburgh Mini Maker Faire (hosted here at the museum!), running educator and librarian workshops at our annual Maker Boot Camp, and working collaboratively with Maker Corps Members from the other Pittsburgh Host Sites (Assemble and Millvale Community Library).


Adult educators – teachers, librarians and community leaders – brainstorm during a design challenge at our Maker Boot Camp, which was run with the invaluable assistance of our 2013 Maker Corps Members.

We have a dedicated staff from a wide assortment of backgrounds that’s brought together by a passion for making things. Between us we specialize in traditional woodworking processes, eTextiles, mask making, robotics, film and a huge assortment of other skills. We’re looking for awesome, interesting, talented individuals to help us play, explore, invent and learn. Ideal Maker Corps Members are passionate about whatever it is that they love to do and are equally willing to share their passion as they are to learn about others’ specialties. Just to name a few examples: last year Lindsay got us obsessed with embroidery, Sam taught us about computer programming, Nick waxed poetic about street art and Lauren picked up a new hobby in interactive fiction.


Our 2013 Maker Corps Members helped us prototype, test and iterate on the theme of “games” one month, including constant hacking and adjusting of our homemade pinball machine.

You can find more information about MAKESHOP at our blog,

MAKESHOP is a partnership between Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh, University of Pittsburgh Center for Learning in Out of School Environments (UPCLOSE) and Carnegie Mellon University’s Entertainment Technology Center (ETC).

Maker Corps Member Sam enjoyed working with younger children, so she helped put together a jam-making activity for our Tot Make weekly series. Toddlers and their caregivers read a story and smashed some berries to make a delicious treat.

Maker Corps Member Sam enjoyed working with younger children, so she helped put together a jam-making activity for our Tot Make weekly series. Toddlers and their caregivers read a story and smashed some berries to make a delicious treat.


The Bakken Museum in Minneapolis, Minnesota

by Justin Spencer, Youth & Family Program Manager

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 The Bakken Museum, located in Minneapolis, Minnesota, is dedicated to inspiring a passion for science and its potential for social good by helping people, especially young people explore the history and nature of electricity and magnetism. Founded by Earl Bakken, the well-known cardiac pacemaker pioneer and entrepreneur, The Bakken holds one of the world’s leading collection of books and artifacts documenting the history of electricity and magnetism.



The Bakken has a long history of making and inventing with students. The Bakken Museum’s invention programs are inspired by the childhood of Earl Bakken. As a child Earl had a very supportive family that allowed him to invent and tinker in the family garage where he developed a lifelong passion for science and engineering. Earl wanted to provide a similar environment for youth as he had as a child. Over the last 15 years we have developed a variety of invention programs designed to help participants learn valuable STEM skills to prepare them for their future studies, careers, and lives. In all of our inventions programs students work hands-on building and tinkering with something they have designed and constructed.

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We are very excited to work with Maker Corps Members this summer. We are looking for two members who can help us implement our summer camp programs with 200+ campers and help us prototype new activities we can take out of the workshop and share with our general museum visitors. So we are looking for individuals who like to make things and aren’t afraid to tackle problems and try new things.

The Bakken’s Summer Camp is a week-long program where students aged 7 through 14 design and build their own inventions, solve creative problems challenges, make magic tricks, and play games. The primary goal of the week is for all the campers to make a project of their own design using the tools and materials from The Bakken’s student workshop, guided by mentors and educators. We like to say if you can think it, you can make it at The Bakken Museum!

Each summer we also host a festival where we invite local community partners to the museum to celebrate science in the community. Each day has a unique theme and lots of hands on activities and demonstrations to try out. And the best part, it is free for our visitors. It is far and away the busiest week of the year for us.

We look forward to partnering with summer to be bringing in two Maker Corps Members to help develop and implement our programs. The people we hire will help us work directly with kids during summer camp, and also help us create activities to use not only for our Invention Programs, but also for our public programs as well.

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EdVenture Children’s Museum – Maker Works

by Laura Ybarra | Education Services Coordinator


Calling all makers!  It’s time to crank up your ingenuity and imagination in Maker Works – EdVenture’s new workshop for tinkerers, inventors, and artists alike.  Designed for ages 5 and older, Maker Works provides the space, materials, and tools.  You supply the ideas and the imagination!

For the second year Edventure is seeking out imaginative and creative people to be part of our Maker Corps.  For us, Maker Corps Members are helping with the entire exhibit by developing ideas and classes, interacting with guests, and helping to expand the idea of making to our community.  Maker Corps Members will also have the opportunity to help us develop programming and projects for Camp EdVenture, School and Group Programs, Distance Learning, Club EdVenture, and our bigger and better Mini-Maker Faire!  We are very excited and open-minded and would love to hear and learn as much as we can from you just as you learn from us!  If you can dream it, we can try to make it work!

Below you will find some information about the different spaces within our Maker Works gallery along with pictures.

  • Tinker Tech – A techno garage-like setting for tinkerers who like to work with circuits, batteries, soldering, switches, pieces, and parts to create their own gizmos, gadgets, and thingamajigs.
  • Aha! Factory is a space for makers who enjoy exploring the creative process through activities such as printmaking, origami, collage, assemblage, sculpting, and sewing!
  • The Shadow Box is a tucked away nook dedicated to investigating the art and science of light and shadow through a variety of activities including light painting, shadow play, projections, patterns, and prisms.
  • Open Make is the largest area of Maker Works with themed works stations and interactive walls.  From making wind-powered objects to building a cardboard city, you’ll find something here to spark your maker spirit
  • Sound Studio is a room focused on sound, sound waves, music, and the making of objects and instruments that allow you to create a score of sounds.

This super awesome little dude is crazy excited during “Tech Dissect” where they get to take apart different toys or electronics and find certain pieces and parts we ask them for!


More Tech Dissect:


These are some of our friends learning how to hand-sew a stuffed animal together!

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DoodleBots in the making!

Some friends decided they wanted their DoodleBots to have more function so they gave them lights and things that move in the wind!

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What do you do when you can’t get yours working? You discuss (maybe argue a little) with your brother and you learn!

This friend just got her brushbot working all by herself!  The little guy behind her is still trying to figure out how to get his going!



New Maker Annex and More at Returning Maker Corps Host Site Children’s Museum of Houston

By Cheryl McCallum, Director of Education, Children’s Museum of Houston


For Summer 2014, three Maker Corps Members will help the Children’s Museum of Houston kick off their new Maker Annex this summer, developing new activities and implementing them with visitors to the Invention Convention exhibit.

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Our Corps Members will also work with students in the Museum’s Community Science Workshop at Edison Middle School and work with the Museum’s educators to develop solutions for new activities in various exhibits. See what our Corps Members from last year did by viewing their tumblr site.

Maker Ed is thrilled to have CM Houston returning as a Host Site.  We encourage you to check out their Maker Corps blog to see the kinds of creative freedom and program development that our Corps Members enjoyed last summer.  The Children’s Museum of Houston provides a great environment that strongly supports Corps Members to grow, experiment, collaborate, and contribute.  Apply now and be a part of the new team in 2014! – Steve

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Maker Corps at Great Lakes Science Center in Cleveland, Ohio

By Margaret Aiken | Director of Visitor Engagement

Great Lakes Science Center is excited to host two Maker Corps Members this summer in Cleveland, Ohio! Great Lakes Science Center is not just a science center: we are also a NASA Visitor Center, the founding home of MC2 STEM High School and the Cleveland Water Alliance, home of the Great Lakes Steamship William G. Mather, and a partner in the Great Lakes Network, a group of science centers, zoos, and aquaria collaborating on Great Lakes education. Our Maker Spaces include a FabLab on site, a Mobile FabLab – the first of its kind outside MIT- and a Design & Engineering Space in prototype this summer. Great Lakes Science Center’s mission is to make Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math come alive, and we believe Making is one of the best ways to do this.

About the Maker Corps Fellow Position:

With its story of Rust-Belt transformation and growing expertise in additive manufacturing, Cleveland provides a rich opportunity for connecting Making to more “traditional” STEM careers, such as manufacturing and engineering:  this is the experience we hope to create in the Science Center’s new Design & Engineering Space. We envision that Maker Corps Members will work closely with Education and Exhibits staff to help prototype, test, and refine activities for this public space. Maker Corps Members will help envision and develop ways to infuse Making into the museum’s daily visitor experience.

Maker Corps Members will also help develop and teach up to 5 week-long summer camps for the general public and teens that are Maker or FabLab-themed. Members will work together and be paired with another Camp Instructor to share Maker ideas and strategies. Camp topics will include such titles as “Maker Camp,” “FabLab Rocket Adventure,” “Imaginate,” and “Build It Up, Break It Down,” and will serve grades K through 12 both onsite and at one of several off site locations within the Northeast Ohio community.

Great Lakes Science Center will be providing our Maker Corps Members with a stipend for the summer, spring training from Maker Ed, materials and FabLab tools for tinkering, opportunities to write informal science activities, collaboration with local industry partners, a community of museum educators, and the chance to flex your creative muscles making STEM come alive in Cleveland!

Maker Ed is very happy to welcome Great Lakes Science Center as a new Maker Corps Host Site for 2014.  Applications for all Maker Corps Members will open Monday, February 3, and close on March 21.  Click here for more information, and to apply. – Nancy

Maker Corps and Maker-Space at Omaha Children’s Museum

By Tyler Swain, Creative Arts and Maker-Space Lead


Omaha Childrens Museum Logo




In June 2013 Omaha Children’s Museum embarked on a new chapter of engaging the imagination and creating an excitement about learning by opening Maker-Space, a hands-on permanent exhibit where guests are encouraged to use real tools, new technologies and an ever-changing lineup of materials to create and make in an open-ended environment.  As the newest development in this program, Omaha  Children’s Museum is proud to announce that it has been selected as one of 36 Host Sites across the country to participate in Maker Corps, a program of the Maker Education Initiative.

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Maker Corps was designed to meet the demand for qualified staff in organizations eager to imbed making into their programs. The program was launched in 2012 as a commitment to train and place Corps Members across all 50 states by 2015. Each Maker Corps cadre is a new workforce that is constantly learning, working collaboratively, and infusing new energy into established youth serving organizations. In 2013 alone, Maker Corps served more than 90,000 children and families by placing 108 Maker Corps members in 34 organizations across 19 states.

Over the next few months the museum will be looking to hire three Maker Corps members to serve at the museum and assist in creating even better summer programing to serve you in our Maker-Space, as well as our new Maker Camp (June 16-20 and 23-27).  Maker Corps Members will be directly involved in bringing the latest technologies, from microcontrollers to 3D printers, as well as programing in textiles, woodworking, electronics and general tinkering to the museum’s early childhood audience.  All Maker Corps Members will receive leadership training, as well as hands-on S.T.E.A.M. (science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics) program training from the museum as well as the Maker Education Initiative.


Participating in Maker Corps provides an excellent opportunity to continue to improve the high level of programing available at the museum every day, as well as create an avenue to share and promote what we do with our entire community.  Maker Corps Members will leave the summer experience as Maker Corps Mentors, ready to make a new impact in the larger learning community, while leaving a lasting impact and foundation to grow from here at the museum.   If you are over the age of 18, and interested in all things making and tinkering, then apply for Maker Corps beginning Monday, February 3 at:  Applications are due by March 21st.


Maker Ed is excited to welcome the Omaha Children’s Museum as a new Maker Corps Host Site for 2014.  Please help help spread the word about this and all other Maker Corps opportunities by sharing this post on social media, and by following  Maker Ed  (@MakerEdOrg) and  Omaha Children’s Museum (@OmahaCM) on Twitter. 

 – Steve 

Cognizant’s Making the Future U.S. 2014 After-school and Summer Program Grants Now Accepting Applications

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Cognizant has opened up the 2014 grant application period for Making the Future Afterschool and Summer programs.   Child-serving U.S. non-profit organizations wishing to run after-school, in-school, and summer maker programs can apply from October 1 through November 15, 2013.  Programs must support the program’s mission, which is to inspire young learners in the STEM disciplines by providing fun, hands-on learning opportunities.

Visit  to download the grant application, and for more information.

January 16 Update: Cognizant announces their 2014 grant recipients


Cognizant is a Founding Sponsor of the Maker Education Initiative, and a Platinum Sponsor for Maker Corps.  Maker Ed is grateful for their support and for the scholarship and grant opportunities they provide.