Dear Maker Families, It is with great enthusiasm that I announce an addition to our programming. At Hacker Scouts, our mission has always been very clear to us. While our Guild must maintain an age limit to encourage and support complex concepts and skill building at a developmentally appropriate level, Open Lab has always remained all ages. We really try in Open Lab to always have at least one or two activities that can be modified for our younger Makers and engage whole families.
We hear fairly regularly, however, from parents who would like to have a more consistent experience like Guild for their younger children. When we joined the fiscal umbrella of the School Factory, we merged with Maker Scouts but kept our name. We are now pleased to announce that Maker Scouts lives on! A fully developed program that meets weekly, Maker Scout Guilds will focus on STEAM concepts and activities, and build confidence in our youngest makers. It will also give them a solid foundation for when they are old enough to graduate into a Hacker Scouts Guild.
We are pleased to be able to offer a complete program for all ages, abilities, and interest!
Open Lab: Open Lab is an all ages program based on how children learn through various developmental and educational theories as well as a desire we see in the Maker culture for community and family inclusiveness. The idea is this: Twice a month we hold Open Labs where we have experts/mentors available to help kids with any project they bring in. There is also a featured project that a whole workshop is built around that specifically targets skill building. In addition, there is always a menu of other kits/activities that are available for kids that focus on a variety of interests, skills, and ways of learning. The structure has a method- it creates consistency and the opportunity for mentoring and improvement, the provided activities and featured workshops are designed to teach to multiple learning styles, the format supports autonomy and independence, and the program is inclusive and adaptable. Kids can earn badges or not for their skill building, and they can come every week or once in a while. The result is exceptional and exciting- families have come and learned, shared, hacked and formed community in our hackerspace while thriving on the opportunity to learn new skills, reinforce knowledge, and benefit from mentoring to explore their own interests and achieve their unique goals.
Maker Scouts Guild: The Maker Scouts Guild is a weekly scouting program for younger children (4-8) who are ready and interested in basic skill building and concepts. Our Maker Scouts program gives young Makers experience in STEAM education through four 12 week sessions, each of which focus on critical thinking, design, and building with hand-on activities. Activities are designed to help the youngest makers become safe, proficient users of making tools and materials on their way to discovering their passion and language of self expression. The program also provides young people learning opportunities that foster the core values of the Innovator Mindset– embracing failure, frustration tolerance, communication, collaboration, creativity and empathy.With each skill explored, Maker Scouts will receive a specially designed badge that they will be able to collect on their Maker Scout coverall. Badges are provided for not only making skills but for demonstrating Innovator Mindset skills like Collaborating, Flexible Thinking and Sharing. Maker Scouts, as a sister organization, is aligned closely with our Hacker Scouts program, providing a relevant and solid foundation which prepares them to transition into a Hacker Scouts Guild.
Hacker Scouts Guild: The Hacker Scouts Guild is a weekly scouting program for older children (8 and up) who are ready for more complex skill building and a focus on their individual goals while building relationships within a community. The program is designed to balance between structure and autonomy, uniquely addressing the developmental, intellectual, and social needs of this age group. Every Guild begins with the Hackerling Circuit project, which is an Arduino Shield (circuit board) that gives all of our scouts a well rounded education in STEAM concepts and exposing them to the fundamentals of skills, resources, and ideas. Topics covered include circuit and hardware science and function, soldering, LEDs, sewing, design, laser cutting, and more.Not only does this project give our kids a strong foundation to work from, but it also allows them the opportunity to make autonomous decisions around their own interests and what badges they may want to pursue later on. Every meeting also includes a short activity that provokes thought and discussion on one of our core values. Once members complete the Hackerling Circuit Badge requirements, members split into smaller crews to pursue Badges in the areas of their own interest. Meeting also include group projects and field trips that offer an opportunity to try new skills and explore ideas.
I also want to introduce two newer members of our team: Jarick Cammarato joined us from Maker Scouts as our Director of Youth Outcomes,and is the Guild 003 leader in Charleston SC. Jean Kaneko from the Exploratory in Los Angeles joins us as Director of Maker Scouts. She and her team have an extensive background in early childhood education and Making, and we will be working closely to consistently align the two programs. Finally, we are migrating to new websites: hacker-scouts.org and makerscouts.org up and almost complete! Thanks for your patience as we get all the information posted.