5 educational programs for learning by making #BackToSchool


Popular Science has a great post on 5 different STEM programs that encourage kids to learn through making.


Frustrated with the decline of hands-on learning, Stanford University students created SparkTruck as a roving maker lab. They outfitted a Utilimaster van with tools like a laser cutter and hundreds of dollars worth of Popsicle sticks and miniature motors, then drove it across the country—twice—stopping at schools. It’s reached about 5,000 kids, plus inspired enough like-minded adults that the Stanford team created a “How to Make a SparkTruck” guide.


MakerState got its start bringing hands-on projects to at-risk students around New Orleans and the Hudson Valley of New York. Now, it embeds instructors called “maker fellows” in summer camps and schools across the country, where they teach STEM-based workshops that serve more than 6,000 students a year. Fellows also throw maker-themed birthday parties (robot cupcakes included) featuring 90-minute projects, ranging from cardboard derby cars to light-up superhero wristbands.

The Makery

Cofounder Hsing Wei wants dropping by for an afternoon of creative engineering to be “as normal to people as walking into a store,” and so The Makery temporarily takes over some of New York’s most public spots. It runs pop-up workshops, such as “Create Your Own Simon Says,” in vacant storefronts, abandoned bodegas—even a former freight elevator. This spring, it turned an atrium at Rockefeller University into an air-propelled rocket-launching station.

Maker Camp

A virtual summer camp for kids age 13 to 18, Maker Camp presents a different project, based on themes such as paper circuits and DIY fashion, every day for six weeks. Students collaborate online through Google Plus or in person at local affiliates like public libraries. Maker Camp also takes teens on virtual field trips to some of the biggest names in making, including Lego, Disneyland, and Jim Henson’s Creature Shop.

Maker Guild

Los Angeles–based Maker Guild started three years ago by awarding digital badges for students who mastered skills like coding and soldering. Now, 17 guilds across eight states reach thousands of participants every year with projects like anti-tickle belts and wood-engraved playing cards. Kids between the ages of four and eight start out as Maker Sprouts, then graduate to Maker Tribes; the organization also runs programs for families, adults, and educators.

Read more.


August is Back to School Month here at Adafruit! Each day we’ll be bringing you a post for educators on the blog. Stay tuned for product guides, tutorials from the Adafruit Learning System, and inspiration from around the web! Get started by checking out Adafruit’s educational resources, such as our kits and project packs, suggested products for young engineers, and an extensive selection of books to help you learn!

Adafruit publishes a wide range of writing and video content, including interviews and reporting on the maker market and the wider technology world. Our standards page is intended as a guide to best practices that Adafruit uses, as well as an outline of the ethical standards Adafruit aspires to. While Adafruit is not an independent journalistic institution, Adafruit strives to be a fair, informative, and positive voice within the community – check it out here: adafruit.com/editorialstandards

Join Adafruit on Mastodon

Adafruit is on Mastodon, join in! adafruit.com/mastodon

Stop breadboarding and soldering – start making immediately! Adafruit’s Circuit Playground is jam-packed with LEDs, sensors, buttons, alligator clip pads and more. Build projects with Circuit Playground in a few minutes with the drag-and-drop MakeCode programming site, learn computer science using the CS Discoveries class on code.org, jump into CircuitPython to learn Python and hardware together, TinyGO, or even use the Arduino IDE. Circuit Playground Express is the newest and best Circuit Playground board, with support for CircuitPython, MakeCode, and Arduino. It has a powerful processor, 10 NeoPixels, mini speaker, InfraRed receive and transmit, two buttons, a switch, 14 alligator clip pads, and lots of sensors: capacitive touch, IR proximity, temperature, light, motion and sound. A whole wide world of electronics and coding is waiting for you, and it fits in the palm of your hand.

Have an amazing project to share? The Electronics Show and Tell is every Wednesday at 7pm ET! To join, head over to YouTube and check out the show’s live chat – we’ll post the link there.

Join us every Wednesday night at 8pm ET for Ask an Engineer!

Join over 36,000+ makers on Adafruit’s Discord channels and be part of the community! http://adafru.it/discord

CircuitPython – The easiest way to program microcontrollers – CircuitPython.org

Maker Business — “Packaging” chips in the US

Wearables — Enclosures help fight body humidity in costumes

Electronics — Transformers: More than meets the eye!

Python for Microcontrollers — Python on Microcontrollers Newsletter: Silicon Labs introduces CircuitPython support, and more! #CircuitPython #Python #micropython @ThePSF @Raspberry_Pi

Adafruit IoT Monthly — Guardian Robot, Weather-wise Umbrella Stand, and more!

Microsoft MakeCode — MakeCode Thank You!

EYE on NPI — Maxim’s Himalaya uSLIC Step-Down Power Module #EyeOnNPI @maximintegrated @digikey

New Products – Adafruit Industries – Makers, hackers, artists, designers and engineers! — #NewProds 7/19/23 Feat. Adafruit Matrix Portal S3 CircuitPython Powered Internet Display!

Get the only spam-free daily newsletter about wearables, running a "maker business", electronic tips and more! Subscribe at AdafruitDaily.com !

No Comments

No comments yet.

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.