Maker Camp Starts Monday! Sign Up To Join The DIY Fun

makercamp
Credit: MakerCamp.com

You don’t live near a Maker Faire. Your Radio Shack only sells cell phones. There’s no hackerspace in town. This is bad times.* But it’s OK. You can still have a maker summer with Maker Camp, which starts Monday, so sign up now!

This is the third year for this DIY summer camp, where your house is the craft room, and the counselors are coming to you through Google+. You’re trading in the dangers of poison ivy for the dangers of a soldering iron—a fair trade, if you ask me. (And I just burnt myself on a soldering iron!) All you need to participate is a Google+ account, some free time, and a little cash for parts. It’s intended for kids ages 13-18, but younger ones can participate with an adult’s Google+ account, and older ones can be teenagers at heart. You’re never too old to make.

Each week of camp has a theme with the projects revealed as you go:

Week 1: Makers in Motion
Week 2: Art and Design
Week 3: Fun and Games
Week 4: Science and Technology
Week 5: DIY Music
Week 6: Make: Believe

Read more about the themes and their virtual field trips at makercamp.com. There are also “campsites” around the country where you can get together with other local campers, although it’s not necessary to do so to participate. If you’d like to see if there’s one near you, check the camp list.

The first week’s project parts list is live: scissors, screwdriver, drill, saw, wire strippers, soldering iron, heat gun–all things that the average maker has around the workshop. There’s also a materials list, which has mostly ordinary parts (empty plastic bottles) and a few slightly more exotic (EL wire), so if you’re ready to get started, you should probably also do a little shopping. If you’re new to EL wire and don’t have time to order it online, most decent Radio Shacks now sell it.

Camp kicks off Monday with a live Google Hangout with Buzz Aldrin, the New York Hall of Science, NASA Goddard, and the James Webb Space Telescope. Then the first week of projects begins.

Projects vary in difficulty level and ease of acquiring parts. This isn’t your dissertation though. Nobody’s judging you at the end. Participate in the pieces you want, skip the ones you don’t, and follow the fun the whole way. Sign up to join in at makercamp.com/sign-up-for-camp.

* And fortunately pretty unlikely for anyone in the US and much of Europe. Want to keep making? Find a hackerspace near you at hackerspaces.org or a Mini Maker Faire at makerfaire.com.

By day, Ruth works to make open source software communities better. The rest of the time, she makes things, which means her husband and kids know to watch out for stray sewing pins and to ask before eating anything made of fondant.