In collaboration with Pixar, the Exploratorium, and then-Make: magazine (now Maker Media), the Young Makers program started as a pilot group in 2010, meeting at the Exploratorium in San Francisco with approximately 20 youth in its first year. Tony DeRose, of Pixar, had been asking, “How can we give more kids the opportunity to make things and bring them to exhibit at events like Maker Faire?” He and his family were looking to provide a similar opportunity to others.
In 2011, approximately 20 local “maker clubs” sprung up with young makers and adult volunteers working together in parent-run garages or at local schools to develop projects for Maker Faire. In 2012, almost 150 participants exhibited 80 projects at Maker Faire Bay Area.
In 2012, Young Makers became an official program of Maker Ed, which has steadily developed, grown and spread the work – check out the 2013, 2014, and 2015 galleries of Young Makers projects exhibited at Maker Faire Bay Area. 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.