Mini Maker Camp Final Days

By Jeremy Knowlton

Mini Maker is finishing up today, putting a wrap on three days of wild creativity and innovation! Participant projects included 3D printer based design, hydraulics and pneumatics, Aeronautical design, Python based coding, and much more!

Participants learned the ins and outs of 3D design. Then they got to watch in fascination as the printer slowly formed the charms that they dreamed up!

Aeronautical design was a highlight, as students built and then added adaptations onto laser cut balsa wood planes. These light flyers are powered by rubber bands, which give the planes enough power to, in some cases, fly over 80 feet and subsequently get stuck on our roof!

Participants spent lots of time making minor adjustments to the wings in an effort to create optimal flight! And of course, we also spent of a bunch of time launching, chasing, and giggling after planes as well. 

Another highlight of the week was our afternoon of computer science! We loaded up one of the cheapest and smallest computers in the world, the Raspberry Pi, and played Minecraft on it! Later, we used a coding language called Python to create massive skyscaper blocks in seconds, huge custom designed castles, and even random block generators that shot out mushrooms, fire, cobblestone, and water melons  as you ran!

a massive LEGO battle with a whiteboard background!

a massive LEGO battle with a whiteboard background!

We wrapped up the last day with an all time student favorite: stop motion animation! Students broke into pairs and took pictures of a scene that was created with LEGOs, a whiteboard, or themselves outside! Participants then made slight changes to their scenes, capturing every change with a picture. At the end, they strung each picture together and created very cool videos! There were huge rollercoaster whiteboard videos, LEGO battles, floating kids, and much more!

One group (above) spent over two hours engrossed in their video, creating a LEGO coaster car that spun around a track while teleporting and getting fired out of cannons! There was also a space ship involved.

Poor Tom was cornered in a Calvin Ball sneak attack

Poor Tom was cornered in a Calvin Ball sneak attack

We ended the camp on a high note with a game called Calvin Ball. Within a boundary, students had to make up one new rule for their game every 30 seconds or so. They got really into the game design process! We ended up with a game where students tried to tag counselors with rubber bands and counselors lightly bopped students on the head with plastic balls. If you were bopped or rubber banded, you were frozen for 5 seconds. There were also safety bases and skipping rules. Loads of chaotic fun! 

We ended the day with some Minecraft group challenges where every student was on the same server creating bases and protecting each other from zombies. tree houses, battle bunkers, and castles were created for safety. All in all the camp was loads of fun for the kids and WMSI staff!

Looking forward to seeing you all next year!!