Frequently Asked Questions
As you review this list of frequently asked questions, please be aware that Maker Camp is a living program and while the fundamental interest in getting more people making will not change, some of the specifics listed below might.
What are the costs involved in hosting Maker Camp as an Affiliate Site?
Maker Camp began in 2012 as a free program and remains as such. Your expenses depend on the projects you wish to do with your campers and how many campers you serve.
While some tools and materials are sent to our affiliate sites in the form of a components kit, it is necessary to acquire or purchase some of the materials to do the projects. It is important to note we try to design the curriculum so there are a few low- or no-cost projects each week.
As we have not yet arranged the funding for this year, it’s unclear as of this moment if we’ll be able to continue the generosity we’ve been able to extend through our partnership with Google. This will be clearer as we meet with them over the coming months.
Are there any costs to Campers?
There is no cost to Campers to participate in this virtual summer camp. However, some Affiliate Sites pass on a nominal fee to their participating campers in order to offset the costs of snacks and supplies. We encourage Affiliates to keep these costs low in order for Maker Camp to be accessible for all.
Campers participating on their own (not joining other campers at an Affiliate Site) will need to acquire or purchase some materials to do the daily projects. It is important to note we try to design the curriculum so there are a few low- or no-cost projects each week.
How do I sign up to be an Affiliate Site?
Affiliate sites sign up by going to our “Host a Camp” page:
Does Maker Camp take place completely on the computer?
Yes and no.
Yes, the global community only meets virtually, online, using the Google+ community platform. All interactions, videos, project instructions, and communication with Campers and Affiliate Sites happen online.
That said, there are a few projects with digital design and programming that happens on the computer, but the majority of the projects we choose must be made offline and off the computer.
Can Maker Camp be shown on a big screen and have a group come in to participate?
Yes, we have Affiliate Sites successfully show the daily hangouts on a large projection screen, but you still need a laptop or easily accessible computer to enter questions from your campers when they want to interact with the Maker Camp hosts and community during the daily Hangouts.
What supplies do I need to provide for Maker Camp?
We strategically design camp to be accessible to a wide range of ages and skill levels, from novice to seasoned maker. The supplies you need to build the daily projects should be easy to obtain.
Our commitment is to release the project supplies list in time for people to purchase them. In year’s passed, that’s been a few days to a week in advance. Our goal for 2015 is to release a full list of projects in June.
For Affiliate Sites required to create camp budgets many months ahead of time, we try to use nearly free materials, such as items you can find around the house or at your local grocery, art, or hardware stores. We aim to keep costs below $5 per camper for non-electronics projects (and even for some projects that do have electronics in them).
Occasionally, the project requires higher-end electronics, often made available through Maker Shed to our campers. Such items include Arduino, Raspberry Pi, littleBits, and MaKey MaKey. We offer a Maker Camp discount in Maker Shed to offset some of the cost.
How do I prepare for the Maker Camp Launch?
- Create your Maker Camp organization profile on Google+.
- Add MAKE to your circles.
- Join the Maker Camp Community on Google+.
- Upload your official Maker Camp Affiliate badge to your website, along with details for interested campers.
Where can I learn more about the responsibilities of participating as an Affiliate Site?
Take a look at a previous year’s Affiliate Playbook to give you background on the program.
When does Maker Camp happen?
Maker Camp begins the week after Independence Day each summer and lasts for six weeks. However, affiliates have the freedom to vary from our schedule and host the camp when best suites their needs. We’re mostly interested in participation, i.e. getting kids making and sharing the experience with our Google+ community. The details aren’t critical. Do what you need to plan your program and adapt what we offer to your needs.
What ages are best suited for Maker Camp?
Our projects are best suited for young makers 12+; however, most projects can be adapted for even younger participants. It’s never too early (or late) to start making!