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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