On Friday July 14 and Saturday July 15, we held our first of two Mini Maker Weekends here at Boston Children’s Museum. These weekends are an opportunity for staff and visitors to flex their Maker muscles with some simple Maker projects that will hopefully get everyone excited about the main event in September!
Our theme in July was “Make it Go!” Projects ranged from creating abstract paintings with rolling golf balls to designing and launching paper rockets, some of which made it 20 feet up! We also explored different ways of folding paper airplanes, and created a ramp that spanned the whole of Studio A. All of the projects were done using common inexpensive materials like paper cups, tape, cardboard tubes and empty soda bottles.
For a lot of people, “Maker” means someone who is well versed in current technology and uses it to build robots and custom made remote controls. For people who don’t consider themselves tech-savvy, this can be intimidating. But making is not limited to high-tech, and in fact, many makers don’t use it at all. Our Mini Maker Weekends are meant to highlight the kinds of projects that kids (and adults!) can do with materials they probably already have lying around at home.
Making is not just about the product you create. Just like in art projects or science experiments, the key part of making is in the process. Making sparks creativity, develops problem-solving skills, fosters collaborative learning and cultivates a “learn by doing” attitude. Nobody starts out as an expert in anything, but messing around with materials and processes is how you become one, be that as a builder of robots or a folder of complex high-flying, long-gliding paper airplanes.
Join us for another Mini Maker Weekend next week for “Project FUNway: Make it Work!” on Friday August 11, 3:00-8:00 and Saturday August 12, 11:00-4:00. Get your creative juices flowing as we upcycle old T-shirts, create unique fabric designs and lots more!
Science Program Manager, Boston Children’s Museum