AHAkids Maker Bootcamp

Through use of multiple useful tools, students will learn how to take ideas from concept to reality. In the process of creating a number of different projects, they will learn all the skills necessary to operate a 3D printer and a LASER cutter, safely and independently. Starting in the traditional fashion of fleshing out plans on paper, they will quickly learn that using computer technology, anything you want to create is possible.

Goal:  Students will leave with an understanding of how to effectively create projects in a virtual environment and will learn the two common tools Makers use to fashion their designs. By immersing students into an environment of constant brainstorming, learning, and making, students will think more freely and be more creative when developing new ideas for projects.

  • Inkscape- An open source graphics editor we will be using to create two dimensional art that will then be used to etch or cut items using our laser cutter.

  • Laser Cutter- Students will learn to safely operate the laser cutter to etch and cut their projects from different materials. By the end of the class, students will learn to take a two dimensional piece of art into a three dimensional creation.

  • SketchUp- A simple and easy to learn 3D modeling software we will be using to introduce the concept of utilizing a three dimensional environment to produce an idea. This simple but effective software will then be taught to teach advance concepts to create useful products.

  • 3D Printer- This recently popular piece of technology is one of the most utilized in the Maker community. This open source wonder allows anyone to take a project file and print it out, layer by layer, into a physical object.

  • Tool Troubleshooting- There are many ways in which we may need fix or repair the open source tools we use. We will learn ways to find information and resources to get our machinery back in working order. This will teach students that not everything is perfect, and when there is no customer service, nothing is lost.

How We Measure Success: Students will leave with a full understanding of design and working in a three dimensional environment. They will have gained confidence enough to take a simple idea and run with it until it is a tangible object. They will also learn to work with the many tools safely, whether independently or as part of a team, and be able to create something new without supervision.

Why this class is important to your child:

  • Real world business tactics:  Prototyping is an effective way of portraying ideas in physical form without investing lots of money into a project that may not find funding to get off the ground. Showing a prototype may be useful to show to investors, grant committees, and fellow coworkers. Finishing and presenting projects will help students build confidence and feel accomplished, motivating them to pursue more ideas, and giving them the drive and ambition to pursue their dreams.
  • Less Consuming, More Making:  Due to advancements in technology, these tools are becoming more common as a part of the community. Because of tools like this, our economy is quickly shifting back towards one that rewards the Doing It Yourself mentality and prizes the entrepreneur. As culture shifts back to a maker society, being able to create for oneself will be a valued and sought after quality. Being a few steps ahead of the game will give students an advantage in the field of innovation.
  • Confidence Through Art:  These tools allow not only creation of prototypes, but open as a new art medium available to your child. New ways of developing masterpieces promotes creativity and confidence of self, as it opens up more possibilities to become fluent in expressing their thoughts, feelings, and dreams.


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