Kids' Groups: Makers & Coders
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Kids' Groups: Makers & Coders
Maker Fair group for teen
I am seeking information about any local Berkeley groups for teens interested in building
Maker Faire-type projects. My 16 y.o. son is a sophomore at BHS and loves to build
things, but there don't seem to be any groups focused on this interest, in spite of the
hundreds of possible clubs. Thanks for your help.
mom of natural mechanic
Dear Mom of Natural Mechanic,
My son went to Berkeley High. He is now 19. He was the first young kid in the
Makers Faire to build a Power tool Race ''car''. It was a blast. He also loves to
build things and still does. We never really found any group at Berkeley High, I
just found older friends who were builder types, fun, interested and creative.
This worked pretty well for him. He still builds stuff all the time.
The crucible in Oakland is a pretty fun place. Take him to the Makers faire if
you haven't already and he'll meet people there too.
(We are always building fun stuff at our house but you don't know us)
Finding kids into building/coding (12 yo)
We're wondering if there are groups of kids who meet and
build things or program things in or near Berkeley, during
the year? ID Tech sounds great but summer is a long way off.
Our child is really into building things, and we think he
wants to learn more about coding (mostly graphics design,
from what we see), but we don't know of many other
like-minded kids nearby. We'd love suggestions of where he
might be able to connect up with kids with similar interests
and/or how to encourage him to do these things solo (but it's
much more fun with a friend).
Try DVC's College for kids program.
When you say build something not sure what you mean. Can you be more specific?
Apps, robotics, remote control, videos, web sites, circuits.
He's at the perfect age for Legos Mindstorms or Arduino. There are tons of videos
and web sites to help him get going. If he's a smart kid get him going with
Arduino. Purchase from Arduino'a web site.
Contrary to what you are thinking it's distracting to do this with a friend.
(Too many cooks syndrome.) He'll get more out of it and learn more quickly if
he does it by himself.
Sounds like you might have a Hacker Kid, or a Maker Kid, on your hands. You may
want to check out some of the local hacker spaces, like Ace Monster Toys in
Oakland. They have also recently launched a program called ''Hacker Scouts'' for
kids ages 8-14 where they do all kinds of cool projects. They meet every two weeks
and have had a really good turn out of families all around the bay. Another thing
to consider might be Young Makers, a program that is coordinated (I think) by the
people who put on the Maker Faire each year in San Mateo. From what I understand
Young Maker groups are either self-started or you can find an existing group that
is doing a project. The ultimate goal is to create something to display at the
Maker Faire in May. You can find info on both of these programs online:
www.acemonstertoys.org/hackerscouts or www.youngmakers.org
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