When I was a kid, I was constantly taking things apart to see how they worked. When I was 12, I went to a summer camp where I learned to solder (a useful skill, by the way), and by the time I was 14, I had decided to become an electrical engineer. It didn’t end up being the right career path for me when all was said and done, but that hasn’t dampened my love for tinkering and creating. I can’t imagine the damage I would have done (in a good way) if I had access to the Maker communities that are around today.
If you’re not aware, Makers are people who, well… MAKE things. Cool things. Often they’re things most people wouldn’t even dream of doing. They might be crafty items with a hint of tech woven in, like LED-lit origami flowers, or home-grown versions of something you could otherwise buy, like a custom bike frame. It’s DIY on steroids. Makezine is a magazine for Makers of all ages. In each issue, you might find interviews, crafts, building projects, recipes, kit reviews, and more.
The Make: School’s Out Summer Fun Guide is geared specifically toward kids who are looking for ways to pass their summer vacation. It’s heavily STEM (science, technology, engineering, math) oriented and has activities for a broad range of ages and skills. There are projects that require some serious tools, while others involve mostly things you’d find around the house. The project categories include: Combat, Outdoors, Rainy Day, Craft, Music, Pranks, Flight, and Electronics. Some, like the Backyard Zip Line, are intended for some adult participation. Others, like the Woven Map Basket, are appropriate for older kids to do on their own. The issue also includes some great articles for kids, as well as kid reviews of a variety of materials, tools, and kits.
Whether you have a budding Maker at home, or you’re looking for some unique activities to help keep the family entertained, the School’s Out Summer Fun Guide is a great choice. The paper issue is $9.99, but it’s also available as a PDF for $6.99. Not only are these projects educational, but they can be enjoyed by the whole family. Do keep in mind that this issue is a 3-D issue and many of the images (not tied to the projects) are designed to be viewed with old-school red/blue 3-D glasses. The print issue comes with the glasses, while the PDF does not.
Disclosure: We received a PDF copy of this magazine for review purposes. There was no other compensation and there was no promise of a positive review. The opinions contained in this post are my own.