Small Factory Makerspace Gives Kids The Opportunity To Create and Discover
Tinkering. Engineering. Inventing. Learning. Innovating. No matter what you call it, making is an everyday part of our lives, so much so it’s becoming a revolution.
At Small Factory, we’ve always encouraged kids to explore their passions and discover new ways to learn. That’s why the makers movement is right up our alley. We’ve been making all along!
Small Factory’s Makerspace activities give children the opportunity to explore many different forms of technology, software and crafts. Kids are either given a project to learn and tinker with or encouraged to do their own thing and learn what happens when they start exploring. Small Factory gives kids space to just create.
“The great thing about Makerspace activities is that there isn’t a specific outcome we’re after,” said Chris Dudick, creator of Small Factory Productions. “The goal is exploration.”
Makerspace activities are STEAM based, meaning activities center around science, technology, engineering, art and math. Makerspace activities have included homemade flubber, create-a-flashlight, toothbrush robots, shoebox phone projector, LED bow/bowties and wire bird’s nest necklaces.
The makers movement is about coming up with new and innovative products, and learning from tactile discovery.
“We can teach ourselves more easily than we can learn from someone telling us something,” said Chris. “When you give children the opportunity to discover and learn with no consequence, and amazing things can happen.”
When you give children the opportunity to tinker, imaginations run wild. The earlier you introduce them to making, the more creativity can soar. Making and tinkering becomes part of their world.
“Through my own use of a makerspace, I tinkered around and created the SiLAS software,” said Chris, speaking about the software he created to help children who struggle with personal skills development. “I could use the software in different ways and formulate the final version.”
So what does Small Factory want kids to learn from Makerspace activities?
“We want kids to say, ‘Yeah, I’ll try that!’,” said Chris. “It may not go well, or they may be successful, but we want them to try and discover, no matter the outcome.”
Chris along with Bernadette Mullen will be amongst 30 makers who will be making their marks at TEDxNavesink 2016 Makers on April 9 at Monmouth University. The ideas conference is focused on makers; those innovators who see malleable things to be taken apart and reconstructed. Those makers who are making physical things, and those makers who are making a difference. Tickets can be purchased at www.tedxnavesink.com.
Have your own tinkerer at home? Register your child for a Small Factory Makerspace here! Classes are held on Wednesdays in the Fair Haven studio from 4:15-5:30 p.m. and 5:45-7 p.m.