by Jean Kaneko, Chief Tinkerer
The Exploratory is pumped and ready for our 2nd year as a Maker Corps Host Site. The Exploratory is located in Culver City CA and is an imagination space for children, an innovation space for adults and a maker space for the whole community. This is our 4th year of providing Making STEAM summer camps in Los Angeles. In 2013, we were fortunate to have 4 Maker Guilds members for parts of the summer. We had a 2nd grade public school teacher, a sound editor, an arts in education master candidate, and a sports / PE educator. It was very interesting to see how each Maker Corps Member brought their expertise to the Making experience. This year, through funding support from Maker Education and CAA, we will be able to provide scholarships to our camps through our non-profit arm – Maker Guilds.
In 2013, we ran camps for 2 age groups – Mini-makers ( 3-5 ) at our PeaPods SchoolHouse preschool and Elementary Makers ( 6-12 ) at our Jefferson maker space location. We were able to provide 9 weeks of camp for both ages. Some of our camps weeks included: Light and Shadow, Ginormous Build: Architecture, Ginormous Build: Transportation, Minecraft, Water, Tinkering, and more.
This year, we will be exploring Invention and Innovation by integrating the Design Thinking process from Stanford’s D School. We will be offering weeks of camp like: Invent something that could change the world, Invent something that you wear, Invent something you ride, Invent something for Pets etc. Its an important part of our goals that children understand how capable they are – that no one is smarter, more creative or more capable – but rather that it take persistence and desire to get good at something.
This format enable our Maker Corps Members to create inspirations, provocations and materials that will inspire our campers. Campers will be able to use all the tools in the Maker Space to realize their vision. Our maker space is a living lab where educators, facilitators and children stand side by side learning, making mistakes and reaching new heights. Maker Corps members will have the opportunity to join The Exploratory / Maker Guilds team to continue this work through after school and library programs in Los Angeles and encouraged to design and implement workshops and programs for all ages.