Make Craft Play is a series of educational programs focused on developing critical thinking skills for children aged 9 to 18 years old. Our approach builds confidence through progressive iterations with hands-on projects. Some iterations might be a step back; that isn't failure, that is learning. The ability to learn from missteps is an important skill that contributes to success in Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathemathics, and more!
Bryan has Bachelor of Science degrees in Computer Science and Bioinformatics from Michigan Technological University. He went on to work for MIT Lincoln Laboratory. While there, he helped found the Robotics Outreach at Lincoln Laboratory group. Bryan went on to do other work, but always felt called back to education. Now he lives in West Palm Beach working as a technology contractor and tutor. Oh, and Bryan is the head of Make Craft Play!
Bryan might be joined by one or more friends to help run the workshop. They might be Ben, a former soccer and swim coach; Kasia, a pre-med college student; or Michael, a dual-enrolled high school student.
Build a car from a kit of parts including straws, bottle caps, and cardboard. See how far and straight it travels on a track with a fan blowing over it. Experiment by changing the car. Does it improve? Maybe it does, maybe it doesn't. Time to change the car again! Let's see where it goes this time!
This workshop should run about 2 hours. It is geared for students in the 9-12 age range. All materials are provided. There are no teams. There is a score to measure individual improvement; competition is neither encouraged nor discouraged. There are no awards. The students may bring home the car they built if they choose.
Just what is programming? First, the students will work together to accomplish a task by coming up with ordered steps for parent-volunteer robots to follow. Next, small groups of students will play a board game about programming robots. Finally, students will each get to help program a simple turtle game in Python to see what actual computer code can look like.
This workshop should run about 2 hours. It is geared for students in the 10-18 age range. All materials are provided. Parents are encouraged to attend, as volunteers will be needed. Depending upon supplies, the robot board game might be available for a low price.