Family Maker Experiences
Have you heard of this Maker Movement that’s totally gaining momentum? I had no idea what it was until a few weeks ago. Simply put, makers modify, repair and make things instead of accepting off-the-shelf solutions sold by companies. Kids are natural makers and this movement harnesses their creativity, while helping develop entrepreneurial skills. Here are five of the best Maker experiences Calgary families can have with TELUS Spark this fall.
Calgary’s Annual Mini Maker Faire
If there was ever a time to visit TELUS Spark, the September 6th weekend would be it. The Mini Maker Faire brings in 150 local inventors, designers and experimenters to showcase their work, while providing interactive program and demonstrations. ‘Makers’ onsite include everything from robotics, weaving, theatre, painting, sculpture, and 3D printing.
What this means for families is you can build and launch paper rockets, watch robots compete for dominance, learn how to spin fibre and unleash your inner desire to just make stuff! Cool Makers to put on your radar include Paul Harris’ Electrochemical Extravaganza and Tarana Sharma’s Cycle-a-Sorbet, a pedal powered ice cream maker. With the Electrochemical Extravaganza, expect to see a spectacular display of devices in which electricity meets chemistry head on. There’ll be flames that dance to music, high voltage electricity and major magnetic fields. Meet 10 year-old local robot makers and youth innovators, too!
Location: TELUS Spark Dates: Sept 6 & 7: 10:00 a..m. to 6:00 p.m. Pricing: Senior (65+) $17.95 | Adult (18-64) $19.95 | Youth (13-17) $15.95 | Child (3-12) $12.95 | Children under 3 are free. There’s also a discounted two-day pass for families who want to talk in the full experience. Senior (65+) $27.00 | Adult (18-64) $30.00 | Youth (13-17) $24.00 | Child (3-12) $19.50 | Children under 3 are free.
Open Studio Workshops at TELUS Spark
You’re a builder. You’re an engineer. You’re an artist. You may just not know it…yet. Open Studio Workshops are way cool. They offer a safe place for kids to learn design and engineering skills by working with real tools to develop legit skills. After kids eight-years and older take a safety oath, they can practice working with saws, hammers and drills, as they cut, paint and join materials with other visitors to co-design and build big collaborative projects.
Location: TELUS Spark Dates: Open weekdays from 12:00 – 2:00 p.m. and 1:00 – 3:00 p.m. on weekends. Pricing: Access Included with Admission to TELUS Spark.
Calgary’s Science Centre Galleries
The best spot for kids under eight-years-old is hands down the Creative Kids Museum. Here, budding artists and engineers create and build during hands-on activities at individual Maker Tables. This is creative play and exploration at it’s finest. The materials change regularly at the tables and range from engineering and building challenges to exploring colours and more.
Geared for kids over eight-years-old, Open Studio has the raw materials to fuel any imagination. Various stations dotted throughout the gallery allow kids to build, break down or combine elements to make something entirely new. My daughter loves the mannequin station, where she designs outfits using materials like duct tape to coffee filters. Some stations are focused on designing and building structures collaboratively, while others are independent. The results are always incredible and FaceBrag worthy.
Location: TELUS Spark Dates: Open every day from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Pricing: Included with Admission to TELUS Spark.
Beakerhead’s Little Big Street
Art meets engineering at Beakerhead’s Little Big Street. In this inspiring space you’ll find interactive structures, plus forts completed by visitor’s to TELUS Spark’s Open Studio Workshop. It’s creative problem solving at its finest. How else would you describe a 90-square-foot home or a plastic bubble meeting room? Each design reveals in an entertaining way, the engineering and science of solving social and environmental challenges and definitely opens up a great dialog with kids. Families can romp around the structures, talk to the designers or hit up the food trucks when they roll in on Sunday, September 14.
Location: Olympic Way and 12 Ave SE Dates: Sept 10 – 13: 9:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. & Sept 14: 9:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. Pricing: Free (donations welcome).
Digital Media Studio Workshops at Calgary’s TELUS Spark
Kids into computers and digital tools will find the workshops at the Digital Media Studio the perfect place to develop their tinkering skills. Programming and animation workshops provide an age appropriate introduction to digital animation and game design, while 3D printing workshops get kids designing custom objects, before printing them on the science centre’s 3D printer.
Location: TELUS Spark Dates: Takes place every Sunday at from 11:00 a.m. to 1 p.m. Registration: Required with TELUS Spark. Call 403-817-6800 to register. Suitable for ages nine-years and up. Pricing: Varies by workshop.
What do you make with your kids? Comment before midnight on Wednesday, September 3 and you could win free admission to the Mini Maker Faire at TELUS Spark with your family.
Thank you to TELUS Spark for partnering with Travels with Baggage on this post. As always, my opinions are my own.