Young Makers History


In collaboration with Pixar, the Exploratorium, and Make: magazine, 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.

The Young Makers program is different than robotics competitions and science fairs. In particular, there are no winners and losers, just fantastic makers and learners who innovate and collaborate to create something great. Projects are cross-disciplinary and youth-driven; anything that’s cool is fair game.

For the 2014 season and beyond, Young Makers is an official program of Maker Ed. Maker Ed aims to develop, grow, and spread the program, deepening relationships and reaching new communities in the Bay Area, as well as broadening the reach of Young Makers nationally.

Founding Team

Dale Dougherty, Founder and Executive Chairman of Maker Media

Tony DeRose, Senior Scientist at Pixar Animation Studios

Karen Wilkinson, Tinkering Studio Director, and Mike Petrich, Director of the Making Collaborative, the Exploratorium

Michelle Hlubinka, Director of Custom Programs at Maker Media