The Maker Lab will host a camp for middle school and high school students in June.
The Maker Lab’s intention is to introduce some of the basic digital fabrication tools. The camp is designed to teach campers the principles of science, engineering, technology and creativity. The campers will have a chance to learn how to use advanced tools such as laser-cutting and 3D printing.
The camp directors are still finalizing the activity list but the camp will include the basic elements of soldering, screen-printing, robotics and the Rube Goldberg machine.
Dr. Nil Santana, assistant professor of art and design, joined the Maker Lab as the director for the camp in 2004. He brings his unique teaching skills from the classroom to the Maker Lab.
“In my opinion, the most important thing is how they are challenged to think creatively, and encouraged to simply build something and see if it works,” Santana said. “The Maker Lab is a place where we usually say ‘fail fast, fail often’. That means failing is part of the process but it can be very informative.We just want them to quickly move on, and continue to iterate their ideas.”
To encourage teamwork, the activities and challenges are entertaining as well as informative. The campers learn from a project-driven objective. This creates immersive learning opportunities, which in turn, challenge the campers to develop problem-solving skills. The students learn many different things in this camp, from soldering to using power tools.
“When we ask them to build a catapult, we’re not just asking them to put some parts together, but we want them to figure out how many rubber bands will provide enough sling power without damaging the final structure,” Santana said.
Laura Baker, ACU librarian, will be helping with the three-week camp session.
Baker said, “When we first started out, we wanted the Maker Lab to be an extension for the Library, as it is just another type of learning.”
The camp is offered in June for three different weeks which depend on the campers’ age level. The camp hours go from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Parents can register their children online at (http://blogs.acu.edu/makerlab/maker-academy-16).