Archimedes NorCal Maker Garage

SALMON ELEPHANT PIE Becoming ludicrous: an instructional manual.

Wax casting.

Maker Lab: Spring 2016

“When you want to build a ship, do not begin by gathering wood, cutting boards, and distributing work, but awaken within the heart of (people) the desire for the vast and endless sea.” – Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

"An artist is something you make yourself into."

“An artist is something you make yourself into.”

Maker Camp and Maker Lab have a certain culture.  (Just want to register?  No problem. Here’s the link:

We gather together to Make.  We build, create, design, do, and redo. Creativity is a necessarily wasteful process, and we embrace using lots of materials, imagination, purposeful effort, and time.  We lean forward into our creations.

Some Makers focus on handmade ships, others on sewing handmade dolls and felt animals.  Another works on creating a giant marble run out of cardboard and duct tape. A few focus on learning basic programming logic, while still others dive headfirst into programming complex algorithms in Python and Javascript, or Robot Turtles using Lua.  Programming Robot Turtles

We embrace the drive of creativity to experiment with materials and build skills in action.  This is very important: skill in action leads to a flowering of the self.  Why?  Simple: “when you are wiser, you can be wilder.”  – Maritza.  (Just makes sense, doesn’t it?  You don’t let the average two-year-old climb on the rafters.  But we pay to watch circus performers do it.)

We believe in empowering Young Makers with the tools they need to bring their creativity into fruition.  We believe Young Makers can and should experiment with materials and tools.  We believe that skillful and confident handling of tools and materials of all kinds lends itself to being confident in our exploration of art, math, science, technology, and engineering. Emily helping L make a doll

We demonstrate projects regularly, to provide inspiration and expose the Makers to possibilities.  We don’t require them to do only the project we demonstrate.  We know that it takes time to process new ideas.  (Don’t be surprised if your Maker is earnestly determined to make something six weeks after they saw it.)

A handmade shipWe help them acquire the skills they need to accomplish their goals.  We teach them how to use power tools, wear safety glasses, and thread a needle. We provide project ideas if a child would like guidance, and support when the child has their project in mind.  We ask them to reach outside their comfort zones.  We don’t tell them it will be easy; we tell them it will be worth it.

To give you an idea, our Lab rules are listed below.


– Be Awesome.  Don’t wait, and don’t be afraid to do something different.  The something amazing you’re waiting to happen?  That’s you!
Cardboard and duct tape marble run– Be a Maker.  This means produce, not just consume.  Add, delete, modify, create, and explode out of your seat.  The world is waiting for you!
– Be Inspired!  Other people’s creations are cool, and yours can be, too!  Use the work of others to inspire your own, not to get down that you haven’t done it yet.  The time is now.
– Be Excellent to Each Other.  Doing anything new means taking a risk.  When we are laughed at, we stop taking risks.  Do to your teammates only what you would want them to do to you.
– Make use of Awesomeness.  Mentors (adults) and your fellow Makers are here to help you, work with you or cheer you on, and there are materials and tools at your disposal.  Don’t be wasteful, but use what you need.
– Don’t be afraid to make mistakes. Or messes. This is a place to build and create and, well, Make.  Mistakes are a natural part of learning, and creativity necessarily takes time.  Getting on your way means sometimes getting lost.  Be in action.  Just clean up when you’re done.


– Do respect your Labmates, mentors, and the space.  Examples:
– Don’t be on fire.
– If you’ve never used a tool before, ask someone who knows how before you try.
– If someone is in the groove, don’t bother them.
– Ask permission before moving or using someone else’s project.
– Clean up, and leave the space clean for others.


We currently have a class on Mondays (begins January 11, you can register here), and Maker Camps throughout school breaks and holidays.

Tentative calendar for demonstration projects in January (additional projects may be added):

January 11, 2016:
  • Learn to Solder: Makey Robot & LEDs.
  • What can you do with the medium of paint?
January 25, 2016:
  • Intro to Circuits, Makey Makey
  • Advanced: Makey Makey Pinball Game
  • What can you do with Mod Podge?
Happy Making!

Candace • January 4, 2016

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