@ Bit Space
Use Real Tools to Make Real Things
During after-school, daytime, and weekend hours, kids come to Bit Space to learn how to use real tools, work on real projects, and have real fun along the way. Design and build a skateboard from scratch, program and create your own robot, or craft a new 3d video game you can share with your friends.
One of the great things about Bit Space is that kids can take home what they make. It could be the product of a particular challenge, such as accurately measuring, sawing, and nailing two pieces of wood together, or the result of a longer-term project in which they design and build a piece of furniture or a computer designed 3d obstacle course.
Our guides are here to teach kids safety, technique, and design principles while leading the kids through various lessons. Kids master these lessons through various challenges and then are given the freedom to use what they've learned to create something special.
- Bits (Physical Things) – Students participate in hands-on design and construction projects utilizing a combination of hand tools, small power tools, and computer controlled tools to craft things from real materials.
- Bytes (Digital Things) – Students learn programmed electronics, computer modeling, and computer programming to develop interactive digital constructions in virtual reality, robotics, and new media.
- Communications (Design + Communication) – Students develop their ability to control the design process, representation (drawing + modeling), communication, and collaboration in order to translate ideas and information into actionable proposals. Communications is the vital overlap between Bits + Bytes.
Lessons, Challenges, and Projects
Every week, our guides teach a new set of lessons which both advance the active long-term projects in the Design + Build Studio as well as provide discrete challenges for single-day visitors. Projects typically span 5 or 10 weeks and require at least 2 hours per week for staying in sync with the progression.
- Lessons: Led by our guides, kids will learn how to safely and effectively use a variety of tools in our Bits, Bytes, and Com areas. A single lesson may take as little as 10-15 minutes. Kids are then able to practice their skills and techniques through a set of challenges.
- Challenges: Kids complete challenges to show that they’re proficient in the lessons that have been presented. Often, a single challenge requires skills taught through several lessons. When kids successfully complete a challenge, they will receive badges to recognize their achievement.
- Projects: By learning lessons and completing challenges, kids will acquire the skills to complete exciting and fun projects. Kids will be able to take what they’ve learned and apply their own creative touches to the finished product.
- 5-week and 10-week projects: Every few weeks, Bit Space offers new 5-week and 10-week projects. These projects are scheduled for 2 hours per week for 5 or 10 consecutive weeks.
|Invention Convention: Bodies (wk of 1/9 - 10 wks)
Design and build the next great invention, or just make something creative, silly, and fun. Either way you’ll acquire some great design and construction skills.
|Invention Convention: Brains (wk of 1/9 - 10 wks)
Learn how to program microcontrollers (Arduinos) and gain a better understanding of how our physical world interacts with the digital world.
|Snow Sliders (wk of 1/23 - 5 wks)
Design and build your own “Snow Sliders” to race on our downhill ice luge. How it looks will be just as important as how fast it goes.
|VR Roller Coasters (wk of 2/7 - 5 wks)
Design your own virtual roller coaster and “ride it” using the Oculus Rift 3D headsets.
@ Your School
In addition to our Design + Build Studio programming, Bit Space runs after-school programs with a select group of public and private schools in Chicago and Evanston. Each program has its own protocols for registration and availability. Please consult with your school for information. If your school is interested in hosting one of our programs, ask them to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org