Tinkering Camp - DuPage Children's Museum

Tinkering Camp In A Box

Building Creative Problem-Solvers

Children are capable of so much!

 

Tinkering Camp in a Box is a virtual summer camp that provides a unique  opportunity to solve real problems in order to build all kinds of cool stuff. Working both independently at home and online with Dustin Thacker, DCM’s tinkering expert and DCM Play Facilitators, budding engineers will find joy in the challenges, knowledge in the failures, and the confidence and ability to keep trying.

Tinkering promotes creative problem solving, flexible thinking, a failure-positive mindset, and to top it off. . . it is incredibly fun! Working with other like-minded children and adult collaborators, Campers will have a chance to bring their imaginations to life.

Each week’s challenge offers multiple entry points for the youngest to most advanced problem solvers – making sure Tinkerers stay curious and dedicated to the project as it unfolds throughout the week. The process is more important than the end result; imagination and ingenuity will guide the outcome each week. (See a sample of each day’s schedule toward the end of this page.)

 

Tinkering Kit: A Tinkering Kit is included in the cost of the camp. This kit will include a plethora of versatile building materials. Each camp requires a specific set of materials that will be included with each registration. The Tinkering Kit can be picked up at the Museum on a designated day/time or delivered for a $25 fee.

 

Ages: 4 – 10 years (younger children will need more adult assistance throughout the camp)

 

Week 1: Monday, July 13 – Friday, July 17 | Registration Deadline: Monday, July 6

Week 2: Monday, July 20 – Friday, July 24 | Registration Deadline: Monday, July 13

Week 3: Monday, July 27 – Friday, July 31 | Registration Deadline: Monday, July 20

 

Virtual Tinkering Camp In A Box* | 9 am – 3 pm

Member: $125/wk | Non-member: $155/wk 

Pricing is per child/per week

*Cost includes Tinkering Kit!

 

Get More Details: Click Here for Virtual Tinkering Camp FAQs

Join Us for One Week or Three!

Available Tinkering Camps:

Week 1

Launchpad


Monday, July 13 – Friday, July 17
Registration Deadline: Monday, July 6

Tinkerers will create moving, spinning, flying creations that propel their prototyping powers to the outer limits!

Launch means many things: get going, start, begin, embark on, initiate, originate, create, pioneer, mastermind, commence… Tinkerers will build unbelievable gadgets and gizmos that will reach new heights of creativity.

Projects:

  • Paper Airplanes (launcher)
  • Spinning top (launcher)
  • Flying Spinning Top
  • Tabletop Catapult

 

REGISTRATION CLOSED

 

 

 

Week 2

Crazy Contraption


Monday, July 20 – Friday, July 24
Registration Deadline: Monday, July 13

Have you ever heard of a Rube Goldberg machine? (Google it!) What better way to learn about cause and effect while exploring the necessary interconnectedness of all the pieces and parts that make machines work. Tinkerers assemble! (And also disassemble!)

Projects:

  • Marble/Ball Run
  • Simple Machines- Levers and Pulleys
  • Domino Rally
  • Zip-line

 

REGISTRATION CLOSED

 

 

Week 3

Music Makers


Monday, July 27 – Friday, July 31
Registration Deadline: Monday, July 20

Let’s make some noise! Explore all the ways we can create musical instruments. Tinkerers will experiment with vibration and a myriad of musical concepts as they create their own personal collection of home-made instruments!

Projects:

  • Percussion: Tambourines, Drums, and Thumb PIanos
  • Homemade Harmonica/Pan Flute
  • Percussion: Shakers, Rainsticks, and Maracas
  • Rubber Band Stringed Instruments

 

REGISTRATION CLOSED

 

 

Join us for one week or all three! Attending all three weeks of Tinkering Camp will provide the ultimate opportunity for young engineers, designers, and inventors to expand their creative problem-solving skill set. Children will build self-confidence through a platform of innovative collaboration with peers and perseverance through challenges.

Tinkering Camp Curriculum

Think. Tinker. Make. Repeat.

Virtual Tinkering Camp In A Box utilizes a variety of materials and an adult collaborator, via video conferencing, ready to help children grow, learn, and build. The curriculum is born out of children’s perceptions of what those materials can become. Each week, an overarching set of challenges helps to propel the Campers in the same direction. After the box of materials is opened we oftentimes start building and testing right away. Other times, Tinkerers will need to dwell in the design phase, exploring concepts and ideas on paper before diving into the work.

 

Tinkering is the playful precursor to the more serious activity of engineering. Tinkering starts with very simple questions like: “What can I do with this?” or “How does this work?” and often leads to making something. When children tinker, they are learning about the properties of materials, the capabilities of tools, and the way to identify unique solutions to problems.

SAFETY

Each camp session will begin with some safety tips. Keeping children safe while using a variety of materials and building involves letting them take and manage risks. Working on and completing projects is very empowering to young children and promotes a sense of independence.

Tinkerers Assemble!

Caregiver Involvement

Every Camper is Different

Your level of involvement during Tinkering Camp will depend on several factors including:

  • Your Tinkerer’s ability to operate technology to access video conferencing applications, navigate video sharing sites (like YouTube), and read activity guides.
  • Your Tinkerer’s ability to complete tasks such as tearing masking tape, securing things using string/rubber bands, and using hot glue.
  • Your Tinkerer’s ability to independently problem solve, stay on task, and appreciate the exploratory nature of learning by doing.

 

Generally Speaking:

  • Children ages 4 – 5 years will need an adult to assist with most projects. 
  • Children ages 6 – 7 years will need a good deal of adult assistance with some projects.
  • Children ages 8+ should typically be able to independently explore each project.
Tinker the Day Away

Schedule

Each Week

Daily Live Video Meeting
Daily Live Open Studio Hours

MONDAY: What’s in the Box! Safety, project challenges, planning, expectations.

TUESDAY: Building Challenge 1 (start to finish), introduce tomorrow’s project

WEDNESDAY: Building Challenge 2 (start to finish), introduce tomorrow’s project

THURSDAY: Building Challenge 3 (start to finish), introduce tomorrow’s project

FRIDAY: Project presentation and reflection | Caregivers are invited to attend

 

Sample Daily Schedule

9 – 10 am | Self-guided Investigation Into the Subject
A series of videos, websites, or prompts will be provided for each subject.

10 – 11 am | Town Meeting Video Conference
During this time we’ll review the morning’s investigations, take a look at the provided materials, go over safety training for the tools, set expectations, and look at the next project.

11 am – Noon | Dive Into the Project 
Design, Engineer, Make, Think, Tinker, Test, Retest, Rethink, Remake, and Repeat.

Noon – 1 pm | Lunch
Eat lunch and reflect on the morning of learning, growing, and investigating, and prepare for an afternoon of explorations.

1 – 2 pm | Open Studio Video Conferencing 
Pop by Open Studio to get inspired – to start, keep going, or show off what you are working on. It’s a great time for some peer to peer learning opportunities. It’s a time to talk through challenges and learn together!

2 – 2:30 pm | Let’s Make This Video Conference 
Each day, we’ll work through a mini-project together.

2:30 – 3 pm | Let’s Make A Plan Video Conference 
We’ll recap the day’s work and introduce tomorrow’s work.

Pricing

Virtual Tinkering Camp In A Box* | 9 am – 3 pm

Member: $125/wk | Non-member: $155/wk 

Pricing is per child/per week

*Cost includes Tinkering Kit!

 

Cancellation Policy:

  • The Museum will retain 50% of the registration fee for registrants that withdraw from Tinkering Camp greater than one week (7 days) before the first day of camp.
  • The Museum will retain 100% of the registration fee for registrants that withdraw from Tinkering Camp less than one week (7 days) before the first day of camp.

 

Join us for one week or three!

 

Questions?
Contact Dustin Thacker, Arts & Maker Specialist
dthacker@dupagechildrensmuseum.org

Week 1: Launchpad

Monday, July 13 – Friday, July 17
Registration Deadline: Monday, July 6

REGISTRATION CLOSED

 

 

Week 2: Crazy Contraptions

Monday, July 20 – Friday, July 24
Registration Deadline: Monday, July 13

REGISTRATION CLOSED

 

 

Week 3: Let it Roll – Make it Fly

Monday, July 27 – Friday, July 31
Registration Deadline: Monday, July 20

REGISTRATION CLOSED