Tinkering with The Exploratory, a Maker Corps Host Site

By Guest Contributor Jean Kaneko, Exploratory Chief Tinkerer

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The Exploratory empowers children to be curious, take risks, make mistakes, explore and soar into adventure–or as we say, tinker, make, innovate!

We are focused on creating programs that provide young people learning opportunities that foster the Innovator Mindset – embracing failure, frustration tolerance, communication, collaboration, creativity and empathy. We do this work through After-School programs, Educator MakeShops, Camps, Public Events, Parent Makeshops, Early Childhood Parent and Me Classes, Maker Scouts Program, Field Trips, Curriculum Development and our Make-Its™.

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Our facilitators work side by side with adults and children scaffolding their learning through a open ended process rather than focusing on the end product. While many of our programs encourage  interest  in Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Math, we are passionate about helping young people discover their passion and tool for self expression.


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An example of a typical project is  ” Theme park For Bugs” where we  learn about bugs, build bristle bugs, make felted bugs, use conductive thread to add LED lights, use cardboard to create a maze, arcade game, roller coaster ride or ferris wheel ride for our bugs. Along the way, we use “Design Thinking” strategies that inspire us to understand why and what people enjoy about theme parks in order for us  to create a unique experience for our bugs.


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We have started our national Maker Scouts program to bring this type of integrated projects to more young people. We are so excited how Maker Corp Members can further these efforts.

This summer we will have at least 8 weeks of camp with subjects such as Survival, Ginormous Build and so much more.  We look forward to hosting Los Angeles based Maker Corp Members providing the opportunity to learn how to encourage young children to embrace tinkering, making and innovating.

For more – check us out at www.theexploratory.com, tinkermakeinnovate.org and makerscouts.org.

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Maker Ed is pleased to welcome the Exploratory as a Maker Corps Host Site. For more information, and more great Exploratory photos and some fantastic stories of children making, we invite you to see our first Exploratory blog post from November 2012.  For a complete list of current Maker Corps Host Sites, and to apply to be a Maker Corp Member, please see our Maker Corps Page. – Steve







2 responses to “Tinkering with The Exploratory, a Maker Corps Host Site”

  1. Oscar Sodani Avatar
    Oscar Sodani

    This looks really fascinating. The idea of a Maker Scouts program makes me want to jump up and start one in our community. Unfortunately, the Maker Scouts site linked above seems to be an empty WordPress template – if there are other places to get information on this, please share them.

    Also fyi, the links on the “For more – check us out at:” line aren’t coded correctly so the links aren’t working.

    1. steve Avatar

      Thank you so much for alerting us to the broken links, Oscar. They have been fixed.
      We are excited by your enthusiasm, and would love to hear about any efforts in your community.

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