Maker Ed’s Young Makers program offers a flexible club model for bringing together a community of young people, ages 8-18, with mentors and a space to make. Participants work together to design, create, and ultimately exhibit a youth-chosen project. Maker Ed’s Young Makers program ensures that clubs and mentors have the training, resources, and support they need to:
- Center youth in the choice, direction, and design of their own project.
- Facilitate an open-ended process of exploration and learning, which embraces design, iteration, cross-disciplinary engagement, peer-to-peer collaboration, and the importance of both soft and hard skills.
The Young Makers program aims to spark, situate, and sustain maker clubs across the country by providing regional and/or national organizations with vetted resources, training, and curricular ideas. No longer directly running club seasons, Maker Ed now provides other regional or national organizations with the training, resources, vetted curriculum, and support necessary to sustain their own Young Makers programs and clubs in after-school programs across the country.
A 12-to-16-week-long Young Makers club model may consist of:
- Weekly or bi-weekly club work sessions with mentors and youth, organized by club managers, at local garages, schools, community spaces, or makerspaces.
- Monthly regional meetings, with multiple clubs in the region, at any youth-based community organization or institution. Monthly meetings consist of a mix of sharing sessions, project or skill workshops, and/or guest makers.
- Project work, aimed towards exhibiting at a showcase event like Maker Faire.
- Professional development and training sessions, led by Maker Ed staff, for mentors and educators.