TechShop Offers Fun Workshops for Maker Kids

CLASS_1231The TechShop has always been a wonderland for adults, but it’s opening up more to younger makers with a slew of classes and workshops aimed at those ages 10 and up. The San Francisco location is promising to help kids make the most unique pumpkins on the block this Halloween with laser-etched mini pumpkin and waterjet pumpkin carving classes later this month. This takes pumpkin carving way beyond those stencil kits sold at the grocery store.

In a few weeks, students can laser etch their own mini pumpkin during one of two workshops on Oct. 26 and Oct. 28. If a family workshop sounds better, TechShop is offering waterjet pumpkin carving for families on Oct. 30, where adults and kids can use Adobe Illustrator to make a design, then take the low-tech step of cleaning out a pumpkin before loading it into the waterjet cutter, which does all of the carving. The waterjet workshop is free to watch, which means all family members can see the process, even if they don’t participate.

TechShop SF offers great after school programs including a three week Design and Build Workshop – this month is working with laser cutters – and a robotics course. The Design and Build program helps students conceptualize a product, brand name and brand logo while refining CAD (computer aided design) skills in Adobe software and learning the safety and basic use principles of Epilog laser cutters. The final step is fabricating their unique creations using wood or acrylic. Students in the robotics program make programmable machines that they’ve designed, fabricated and programmed themselves.

The best news is that TechShop membership is not required for the classes, opening them up to nonmembers. The bummer is that while their San Francisco location has several kid-friendly opportunities, the Mid-Peninsula location in Redwood City lags behind. The only kid-specific class on the Mid-Peninsula schedule right now appears to be a superhero cape-making class for ages 8 and up. We’d love to see some of the classes offered in San Francisco replicated on the Peninsula. Hint, hint! 😉

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