Sometimes I have no idea that amazing events are happening until they are almost done. Thankfully, the Internet is here to preserve and replay them for us any time! This is especially useful for Maker Camp, a 6-week online summer camp hosted by the folks at MAKE and Google.
Each week day at 11am PDT from July 7-August 15 this summer, the ‘Camp Directors’ host a Google+ Hangout live from the backyard of MAKE headquarters in Sebastopol, CA. The weeks are themed around concepts with special guests and online field trips (such as this week’s visit to the White House kitchen garden) complimented with offline project plans and ideas. I like their opening week of “Makers In Motion” featuring an interview with Buzz Aldrin and the shaken ice cream Howtoon in “Science and Technology” during week 4.
For kids trapped inside on a rainy day or parents eager to find a well-curated set of projects any time during the year, the archives of Maker Camp stretch back three years to 2012. Can’t find the pieces to make that project or a kit to get started with something? MAKE will happily send you to their Maker Shed store to buy supplies (heck, they’re even offering free shipping with discount code CAMPROCKS).
The FAQ’s for Maker Camp state that you must be 13+ to interact online–based on the rules for opening a Google+ account to participate in the live hangouts. Projects and plans are assumed to be slanted toward the tween to teen age range. Your results may vary. (I think my five-year-old will LOVE shaking up some ice cream!)
There are also several hundred sites around the globe that are hosting offline Maker Camps for kids to join up to work on the projects and watch the hangouts. While it may be too late for your family to get in on the fun, the list of participating sites may be a great starting point for finding like-minded, fun-loving geeks in your neighborhood. After trying some of the projects, perhaps you’ll want to sign up to be a Maker Camp affiliate next year (and get nice grab bag of goodies to use!).
Or, if you forget again, you can always come back a bit late next year and binge watch over a weekend with your kids.