Are you looking to make something amazing this summer? Maker Camp is a free online do-it-yourself summer camp for everyone on Google+ organized by Dale Dougherty, founder and publisher of MAKE magazine and Maker Faire. The event drew more than 1 million happy campers last summer! This year could be even bigger as festivities kick off at 2PM EST today in a live Hangout On Air held at San Francisco’s Exploratorium that will continue for the next six weeks.
Maker Camp takes place wherever you are online, giving you fun activities to work on and share via the Google+ platform. According to Google, “You’ll make cool projects, go on epic virtual “field trips” and meet awesome makers.”
Each weekday morning, Google will post a new project or activity on their Google+ page with eventually 30 things to make over six weeks. Then on the weekday afternoons, you can tune in to a live Google+ Hangout On Air to mingle with the actual expert makers who create these amazing things. And similar to last year, there will be Field Trip Friday Hangouts that take you to cool places few geeks ever get to see like the NASA Ames Research Center next week, followed by a look at one of the world’s fastest sailboats the week after!
So check out the new Google+ Community for Maker Camp, making it easy to chat with other campers and see what other people are working on. Google also have a network of affiliate camps or “campsites” setup, so you can go create and make things together at your local library, youth club or makerspace. Use this map to find the nearest campsite. MAKE is working with Google to supply many of these campsites with maker equipment like soldering kits, LEDs, Raspberry Pi boards (mini Linux computers), and Arduino microcontrollers (good for building robots and other neat gadgets).
Dale Dougherty of MAKE said about the camp’s mission this summer:
Maker Camp hopes to foster the DIY (do-it-yourself) spirit in young people. We want each camper to see how much there is that you can do and how much there is to explore all around you. Once you begin doing things, you’ll meet others who share your interests, and you can collaborate to work on projects together. We call that DIT (do-it-together). Google+ is a platform for that kind of collaboration, and it extends to any location and any time zone. And when Maker Camp comes to an end, you’ll have friendships that last beyond summer.
Maker Camp might not be surrounded by trees or near a lake, but it has many of the wonderful features of camping. For instance, you can think of your computer as the campfire that we gather around, and with more than a million campers, our virtual campfire is pretty big! Plus, like any camp, you’ll get the most out of Maker Camp by participating. Meet other makers, get involved in conversations, do things you’ve never done before and most of all, make something!
What each of us can do is pretty amazing, yet what we can do together is even more amazing. In that spirit, I invite you all to join us at Maker Camp, starting today. Just follow Make on Google+ to join, and let’s make this the best summer ever.
Have you ever built something yourself? Interested in learning how to?
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