Program Planning: A Young Makers Season

Our Young Makers efforts primarily support out-of-school-time and afterschool programs. We have refined a flexible club model that can be adopted, adapted, and integrated into any existing or new programming, typically engaging youth in “maker clubs” to create youth-driven projects that are presented at a culminating showcase event.

This model is ultimately applicable to any sort of maker-based learning effort, whether in school or out of school. Below, three key resources, developed as part of our Young Makers: From Making to Invention effort, show what the arc of a season could look like and the key elements to consider.

Anatomy of a Young Makers Season: At a Glance: This one-pager displays an example of a 4-month Young Makers season. This model could be the foundation of an afterschool maker club, or elements from each month could be incorporated into any maker-centered efforts within the classroom.

Anatomy of a Young Makers Season: This longer resource elaborates on the possibilities of each month. Included are a number of suggestions, ideas, and tips for how to facilitate each month, or the activities within each period, as well as how to plan for the final stretch!


YM building blocks_thumbnailBuilding Blocks of the Young Makers Program: Applicable across any program or learning environment, we have created a graphic that helps to situate how maker efforts can evolve from concise, straightforward activities (often with more structure, instructions, or set materials, intended to help introduce a material, skill, or concept) to design challenges (with more opportunities for problem identification and solving) to youth-driven, open-ended projects (that are generated entirely by youth & their personal interests). These are all interlaced, and maker-centered efforts can start at any point.

These resources were developed with the generous support of the Lemelson Foundation.