TechShop in Menlo Park is a fantastic venue for introducing your kids to do-it-yourself projects and the multiplicity of tools and capabilities of the machine shop. TechShop has a variety of classes geared towards youngsters, including "Soldering
Basics – Paperclip People" where you learn how to use solder and a soldering iron to make small stick figures, "Build Your Own Light Saber" where you learn how to build a light saber and practice soldering, drilling, tapping, wiring, and assembling, and "Make a Micro Readerboard" where you get to solder together and take home a customized LED micro-readerboard; an alphanumeric display that spells out simple phrases one letter at a time. Other kid-relevant classes include "Intro to Lego NXT Robot Class — Make and Take!" and "Combat Robotics".
As an added bonus, TechShop is a full service, open-access workshop; perfect for the do-it-yourself Geekparent. As the TechShop folks like to boast: "It is like a health club with tools and equipment instead of exercise equipment…or a Kinko’s for geeks." They have metal mills and lathes, welders, an assortment of sheet metal tools, a 3D printer, a CNC mill, plastic injection molding, anvils and a forge, an engine hoist, and much much more. Whatever your do-it-yourself needs might be, TechShop has the tools waiting for you.