• Maker Who?

    MakerKids is a makerspace for kids in Toronto. We offer hands-on, maker, DIY, STEM after school programs, workshops and birthday parties for kids, teens and adults, based on 3D printing, electronics, Arduino, Minecraft, robotics, woodworking, programming, sewing, crafting and making of all kinds! Register for current programs here. Sign-up for our mailing list for the latest MakerKids news.
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MAKER KIDS BLOG

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    Instructables

    The Instructables web site has many DIY project plans for you to do at home or in the MakerKids workshops.

    For example, check out the solar battery charger:

    http://www.instructables.com/id/Solar-Battery-Charging/

    bat charger

  • Inspiration

    Young Maker Spotlight: Camille Beatty

    Have you ever seen the robots made by Beatty Robotics? They are a family that loves building robots and electronic projects in their garage workshop. They make their own components with homemade CNC mills, buy other parts and hack other components and use them to create absolutely amazing robots! You can check out some of their projects here: http://beatty-robotics.com/project-gallery/.
    We are pleased to feature Camille Beatty for our young maker spotlight!
    Could you tell us a bit about yourself? 

    I’m fourteen years old, and I have two sisters. Genevieve, age 11, and Elizabeth, age 2. Genevieve builds robots with my dad and I. Her specialty is the electronic work. While I can solder and all of that, my hand isn’t as steady as hers. My speciality is machining. That is one of my favorite parts of building robots. My passions are riding horses, and of course robotics. I also play the piano. So along with homework from school, my week is very busy!

    How did you first get started with making things? Was there a particular point of inspiration for you? 

    It all started when I began taking things apart. In my mind when I was little, electronics worked liked magic, but as my mind began to advance, I knew that couldn’t be true. I wanted to see what truly made up these “magic” things. My dad explained some of the basics of what he knew, but soon we were learning together. With the help of the Internet, we were able to discover stuff that we had never imagined.

    What is 1 thing you have learned while working as a team with your family?

    I’ve learned so much from working with my family, from working with my sister in a ridiculously small workshop, to how to run and maintain a small business, but the biggest thing I would say is family itself. I am so blessed to have such supportive parents, and two amazing sisters. Working with my family has opened my eyes to how vital family is. It is a love like no other, an unmatched relationship., that I could never live without.

    Is there a specific type of robot you like to make? Do you also make other things?

    I love to make robots that combine nature and machines. For example our robot “Shellbot” is made with the base of a real shell, but all the mechanical parts are hidden inside. I love the whole idea of mixing breathing creatures with machines, especially in the medical field. I have many ideas on how medical technology can advance to save lives, as well as make things easier for people with disabilities.

    What is your favourite tool or material to work with?

    Most of our robots are made from aluminum. I love aluminum because it’s easy to work with but still durable. My favorite tool to use is the mini-mill. It is a tiny vertical mill that was kinda hard to get the hang off, but now that I got it, it’s so much fun!

    The bio on the website mentions the team has built robots for museums! Can you tell us a bit more about that?

    Of course! We have built many robots for museums. Two Mars Rover replicas that we built are in the New York Hall of Science, a kids science museum close to New York City. We also have six robots in a large museum in Prague, Czech Republic. Three of which are a replicas of a Russian moon rover called Lunokhod, and three Mini Mars Rovers. We are very proud of our accomplishments, and happy so many museums take interest in our work.

    What are your dreams and aspirations for the future? 

    I would love to expand our knowledge of robotics. My dream is to make robots that help people with disabilities. One example is a headset for the blind. It has cameras on the front, and then sends the image into the brain.

    Do you have any advice for other kids interested in making things? 

    My only piece of advice is to have fun! You only live once, and so live it at your fullest doing things you love. And absolutely never ever give up doing your passion. :)

    Is there anything else you would like to share with our readers?

    Thank you so much and hope you are having a lovely day

  • Inspiration

    How Do Maker Activities Help Children?

    Some say making is a form a therapy. You can explore your ideas and take something that you imagined and actually create it. Some parents who have brought their kids to our makerspace have told us maker activities have helped their children become more confident, develop social skills, become more accountable, more well-behaved, learn new skills, spark new interests, and some have even used it as a form of therapy.

    Are you the parent of a maker kid or a child who loves tinkering, 3D printing, woodworking, robotics, electronics and more?

    How has making helped your child?

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    Share your story in the comments!

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