TINKER: Columbus is a Maker Space designed specifically for kids and teens. A Maker Space is basically a community center with tools (in this case, tools that are perfect for the hands of school-age kids and teens). We combine manufacturing equipment--such as wood tools, film-making equipment and 3D printers--with education. We teach students how to use the tools and we build skills in inventing, design, critical and inventive thinking, creating, and collaboration. We mix that with a community of school age Makers who share, collaborate and challenge one another. Members of our community learn, design, prototype and create manufactured works that wouldn't be possible to create with the resources available to kids working alone. They are creating a "community of possibility".
What does TINKER: Columbus offer?
We offer exciting, hands-on workshops, camps, birthday parties, school visits, field trips, and homeschool partnerships. Kids and teens work in our ten Maker Spaces all within our walls. Click here to read about the Maker Spaces. Our lessons follow the 7 E's format: Excite, Explore, Explain, Expand, Extend, Exchange, and Examine. This format allows Makers to learn and develop new skills, and then use those skills to design, invent and produce. In addition to our educational camps, workshops, parties, and field trips, we also host open build and play times when visitors can work on their own projects and inventions--when they can think, dream, invent, build, design, and TINKER to their mind's content! (Parents are welcome to work alongside their kids during open build and play time--with their child's permission!)
What is the future of TINKER: Columbus?
We are starting in the summer of 2014 with our series of camps: "Summer MAKE-ation Camp". A huge thank you goes out to our friends at Tutoring Club for donating their space to us for the summer camps! We will grow into our own space by the fall, when we will begin offering workshops, parties, and open build and play time. Join our mailing list to keep up with our changes.
Who is behind TINKER: Columbus?
TINKER: Columbus was founded by veteran public school educator Kyle Miller. He spent 14 years teaching 3rd through 6th grade students in Columbus and 15 years teaching students at a summer camp. Part of his time as a teacher was spent teaching gifted and talented learners. He also spent time as a curriculum specialist, writing hands-on, experiential lessons for students. One of his passions is transforming students from being consumers of things to being producers of things that change the world. In his classroom, his students were caught doing such out-of-the-box learning as writing and producing their own musical, telling history through film-making, designing and curating a science museum, and inventing and product-testing new toys. Kyle earned his Bachelor of Science degree from Otterbein University, Master of Arts degree from Ohio State University, and is a National Board Certified Teacher. He also has been awarded Teacher of Excellence from Invention Convention and Educator of the Year from his former public school. Kyle also owns Student Success Network, an organization dedicated to providing the premier and most-respected education options in the community. In addition to Kyle's expertise, the camps and workshops will be taught by exciting, engaging teachers, and assisted by high school role models.
How can I join TINKER: Columbus?
TINKER: Columbus is only as successful as the people who are members, volunteers, and staff. Artists, designers, inventors, teachers, and tinkerers can join our mailing list and start a conversation about skills and offerings that you can share with the kids and teens in our community via workshops and camp sessions. In addition, teenagers (ages 16 and older) can work as paid "Maker Hosts" in the Maker Space. Their job is to support the younger makers as they safely work in the Maker Spaces. Kids and students who wish to become members of TINKER:Columbus should try out a camp or a class and then look at the possibility of becoming a member. Finally, we offer volunteer opportunities for community members who have a passion for making things (from food, to gardens, to knitting, to anything else). We invite you to schedule time at our space to share your passion with the kids.
Summer Camps for Ages 6 through 9
Audience: Ages 6-9, Date: July 14-18, 2014, Time: 9:00 AM to 12:00 PM daily, Description: Through the week, students will create a world of carnival games that we will play at the week’s end. They will make up the rules, build the contraptions, and create simple circuits that will keep score, award points, and distribute prizes. Parents and families will be invited to the Maker Faire at week’s end to play the carnival games.
Audience: Ages 6-9, Date: July 21-25, 2014, Time: 9:00 AM to 12:00 PM daily, Description: Does your child enjoy the board game Mousetrap? Well, in this camp, we will be building a giant version of the game. Of course, as a true maker, each camper will make their own unique piece of the puzzle. We won’t even need mice to play the game. The campers will be the mice on their giant gameboard!
Audience: Ages 6-9, Date: August 4-8, 2014, Time: 9:00 AM to 12:00 PM daily, Description: Remember those gifts that were less popular than the box from which they came? Cardboard offers endless possibilities for children. We will connect cardboard in innovative ways to make machines, artwork, furniture, and anything else that comes to each inventor’s mind. Facebook
Audience: Ages 9-12, Date: July 7-11, 2014, Time: 9:00 AM to 12:00 PM daily, Description: LEGO Mindstorms will be our tools as we learn to program the robots to perform Olympic-sized feats. Campers will learn how to code their robots and then have the chance to earn gold, silver and bronze medals in the Olympic events throughout the week.
Video Game Design
Audience: Ages 9-12, Date: July 14-18, 2014, Time: 9:00 AM to 12:00 PM daily, Description: Many kids are great consumers of video games. Did you know there is a great deal of innovation, creative and critical thinking, and collaboration involved in designing video games? Campers will plan, design, code and play their own video games. We will share them with our families at the end of the week.
Audience: Ages 9-12, Date: July 21-25, 2014, Time: 9:00 AM to 12:00 PM daily, Description: Campers will follow in the footsteps of “Wallace and Gromit” or “The California Raisins” as they create their own stop-motion animation that tells a story that they write. They will develop their senses of humor as they create a blooper reel for their animated short.
Audience: Ages 9-12, Date: August 4-8, 2014, Time: 9:00 AM to 12:00 PM daily, Description: A Raspberry Pi is a cheap computer that is the size of a credit card. It’s a full-functioning computer (even with WiFi!) and campers will learn to program it and make some pretty cool coding projects! For an additional fee of $40 (paid during the camp week), campers can keep their Raspberry Pi computers to take home. (Told you it was cheap!) Facebook
Film-Making & Special Effects
Audience: Ages 9-12 Date: August 11-15, 2014 Time: 9:00 AM to 12:00 PM daily Description: Campers will be introduced to green screen special effects as they write the script, draw the storyboard, shoot the film, and edit their own original movie. Families will be invited to the Maker Faire on Friday evening to screen the new film. We have no idea what the film will be about yet, but promise it will be rated G for all audiences!
disclaimer:pricing and availability subject to change.
TINKER:Columbus currently offers summer day camps for kids from ages 6 through 12. All of our camps are perfect for young thinkers, dreamers, inventors, builders, designers, and tinkerers. As more families discover our "community of possibility", we plan to offer more options for students at every grade level.