Overall we want all of our makers to have a fantastic time. Invention and design is deeply connected to play and Bit Space takes advantage of this connection wherever possible. Games and activities will help focus their energy while we encourage them to let their imaginations run wild. When you enjoy what you are doing you are more creative and productive.and we want to make the most for our makers.
Our curriculum is built upon a foundation of curiosity for how the world works and a drive to invent new futures for it.
Your children come here to learn how to make stuff.
Bit Space offers a formal curriculum of inter-related skill building activities, educational and cultural lessons, and project guidance. You can find other places to use a 3d printer, and online classes can be amazing, but at Bit Space we leverage hands-on direct learning through unique curricula. We are really proud and excited about the space we are building and the cool tools we are acquiring, but our curriculum is our most valuable asset.
Themes + Topics
The Bit Space curriculum covers three dominant themes in making. Each theme overlaps with the others in different ways and offers a variety of activities to keep our makers moving.
Each session at Bit Space will be focused on a particular topic. Topics for the upcoming summer camp sessions will include general topics of People, Places, and Things. The projects will be focused on engaging with the given topic. Making things for their bicycles, or their rooms, or maybe themselves. Sub topics such as chairs vs tables, will also be changing regularly so your children can participate in the same topic without repeating projects.
The combination of themes and project topics in our curriculum can provide long term engagement and learning for your children.
Bit Space Guides
Our guides are here to provide instructional oversight, insight and challenge to the creative processes of our budding makers. Guides are trained in all aspects of the shop, with seasoned professionals as Senior Guides directing apprenticed Junior Guides. In a typical camp or after school session held in our workshop we utilize one Senior and two Junior Guides for every 20 participants.
Safe and Accessible
At Bit Space we know there is a broad range of ability and maturity level. Depending on the composition of the participants in a particular session we will mediate the process and complete certain steps or operate certain equipment that our participants may not be quite ready to operate on their own. Our achievement system allows our guides to identify readiness and adjust the amount of mediation on an individual basis.
Bit Space is a Curriculum
More than an activity, more than a maker space, Bit Space is a customized curriculum built on decades of experience and we provide opportunities for years of progressive learning. Like the rings on a tree, the art and science of making things is layered in complexity and difficulty level. Our curriculum carefully sequences your children's path through those layers. Progression from a newbie to a skilled craftsman of all things physical and digital is possible with long term engagement in our programs.
Structured for Freedom
Striking a balance of time to openly and freely tinker and to productively advance projects is deeply important to our curriculum. Each project in each of the programs will be the product of multiple steps or activities spanning a broad range and these steps will build on each other towards a final product. In every session meeting, our creators will have a length of time to explore the techniques learned in that meeting or any of the previous meetings. This approach gives students time to freely explore what they really loved while we continue to advance their project.
Collaboration is Critical
Courses at Bit Space foster team work and collaboration. In most cases and especially when working with tools, we will partner our participants so that 4 hands and 4 eyes are on the case. We know from experience it's the camaraderie that comes with building things together that makes our projects and labors more rewarding.
It's Gotta Be Fun
1 Session = 1 Project = multiple techniques
Skill Grouping vs.
We believe that the girls and boys working on projects and learning new techniques should be divided by their skill sets and abilities more than by their age. By attending workshops and classes, Bit Space makers obtain and hone new skills. We first separate our groups by skill level, and then generally into older/younger groupings. We also strive to maintain a good diversity of boys to girls and older to younger.
All tool access is conditional, but our young makers can, with some basic steps, become qualified to use a range of shop tools. Some tools in the shop can be used freely, after obtaining safety training and approval from a Guide. These include hammers, hand saws, screwdrivers, and other basic tools.
Other tools, like the drill press, jig saw, and orbital sander, are usable by all of our students while under the direct supervision of a Guide. If they show that they consistently act responsibly around the tool and take the appropriate safety precautions, they can use it in the presence of a Guide.
Some very powerful tools, like the table saw, are kept under lock and key and used only by Guides and appropriately trained Apprentices to prepare elements for the other makers.
Individual access to tools is identifiable by prominent color coding on each maker's identity badge, allowing Guides to easily identify what tools go with what makers.
A typical summer camp session will go something like this:
|9:00 - 9:15||notYoga() - Stretching for the workshop to get the body and mind ready.|
|9:15 - 9:30||setup() - Workspace preparation gets our shop ready|
|9:30 - 10:00||activityDemo() - Organized activity walkthrough, demonstrating techniques and focusing the challenges for the day.|
|10:00 - 12:00||activity() - Individual or partnered activities across a series of stations advance the development of a project|
|12:00 - 1:00||eatDrinkPlay() - Weather permitting we eat our lunch and head outside for some fresh air and fun|
|1:00 - 2:00||powWow() - Group activities and discussions related to the project, techniques and materials. Refocus and prepare for afternoon free time|
|2:00 - 3:40||free() - Remaining time used for working on projects or openly exploring techniques learned previously|
|3:40 - 4:00||cleanup() - Leave your workshop the way you found it!|