Tag Archives: Chicago Children’s Museum

Meet the Makers: Chicago Children’s Museum

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Photo Credit: Chicago Children’s Museum

Want to learn how to use a power drill and make an amazing cool sculpture? Join Chicago Children’s Museum at the Chicago Northside Mini Maker Faire.

The Chicago Children’s Museum is “a place where families and caregivers with infants and children are encouraged to create, explore, and discover together through play.”(1) One great place for kids to learn is the Tinkering Lab, a place for learning for children and their families. Kids can learn how to use real tools, like saws and drills, and have the freedom to choose their own projects.  There is even an early learning nook for very young children.

Kim Koin, Director of Art and Tinkering Lab Studios, explains that the Tinkering Lab sees learning as a social activity. It’s a great place for kids to experiment and have wonderful conversations with their families. Kim explained, “Parents are really surprised at what kids can do.” She says a major takeaway from the Tinkering Lab is “learning from failure… We want kids to try something out, be able to test it out, and build again.” Critical thinking and problem solving are critical for kids of all ages. In May, the Tinkering Lab is excited to debut the Zoom Room, where kids can learn about physical science, play with force and motion with 100s of matchbox cars. There will be a station where kids can experiment with cars on different surfaces to explore friction. You can even learn how the timing to hit a car with a wrecking ball! It sounds amazing!

Chicago Children’s Museum is excited to return to Chicago Northside Mini Maker Faire with a new exhibit, and meet other makers in the Chicago region as well. Last year, they had a great time with Cardboard Mechanism at our 4th annual event.

This year at the 5th anniversary Chicago Northside Mini Maker Faire, they will be running “Power Drill Sculptures.” Everyone can learn how to use a power drill safely. Kids will first learn how to use a c-clamp to secure wood and then they will be trained on how to use a power drill. They will be able to build a collaborative sculpture that will develop throughout the day. Kim Koin explained: “Bring your focus. Bring your creativity.” Who knows what form that sculpture will take? We’re excited to see how it progresses!

  1. http://www.chicagochildrensmuseum.org/index.php/about/mission-history

Meet the Maker: Chicago Children’s Museum

Want to make a cardboard grabbing claw that reaches the ceiling? Check out Chicago Children’s Museum “Cardboard Mechanisms” at the Faire!

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The Chicago Children’s Museum strives to “improve children’s lives to create a community where play and learning connect.” For over the past two years, the Tinkering Lab at the museum led by a team of educators, tinkerers, and artists provides families with a space to work in with real tools like power tools, variety of materials (wood, metal and fabrics), and much more. There’s even space for toddlers to have their own tinkering experience. Kim Koin, Director of Art and Tinkering Lab Studios, explains, “We want to nurture creative scientific minds, think in new ways, have children ask their own questions and test and retest their ideas.” One popular project by kids is making a car that rolls; the Lab is developing ways to cultivate that interest.

The museum believes that kids should be encouraged to build things. Kim Koin says, “For us, tinkering is a verb. We think that when we tinker, we are developing mindsets and habits of being an innovator and problem solver. There needs to be more creative problem solvers in the world.”

For the Mini Maker Faire, they will run “Cardboard Mechanisms.” With just cardboard slats, joints, and imagination, kids and adults will be able to make a series of levers that can be made into a variety of things including a giant claw or even a monster. The Museum will also have super large pieces of cardboard and they are excited to see what giant mechanisms people create together. They want people to learn by doing in this project and realize that failure is ok. If it’s not working, try again in a different way.

We can’t wait to have them at the Faire!

Year-Round Making for All Ages in Chicago

Calling all Chicagoland lovers of making, hacking, and tinkering!

Chicago Northside Mini Maker Faire comes around but once a year, but making isn’t just a one-day thing.  Here are some activities for makers of all ages going on in Chicago RIGHT NOW:

Keep up with cool happenings in your city, and keep your imaginations active for Mini Maker Faire Chicago Northside 2014!