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Artisan’s Asylum & Empow Studios

Our 2020 Maker Innovation Summer Academy Has Been Postponed – See You Next Summer!

Empow Studios and Artisan’s Asylum, centers of STEM/STEAM innovation in education across Metrowest and greater Boston communities, have teamed up to bring Maker Innovation Summer Academy to Somerville, MA, in summer 2020, and to young people who are interested in enriching their experiences in technology, engineering, collaboration, and creativity. Artisan’s Asylum (A2) and Empow maintain a shared mission in providing opportunities for young students to apply scientific, tech, and engineering concepts to hands-on, project-based learning. The Summer Program (structured like a Summer Camp) runs in two-week sessions, covering a variety of topics including Smart Fabrics / Wearable Technologies, Designing a Tiny Home, and Building a Community-Powered Vehicle. Through this collaborative program, A2 and Empow hope to share their mentors’ expertise with participants, illuminating unique and diverse ways for students to perceive, communicate, and synthesize information. Each program is held at the Artisan’s Asylum makerspace in Somerville, MA.

Address:
Artisan’s Asylum
10 Tyler St.
Somerville, MA 02143

Empow Studios & Artisan's Asylum collaborate for Maker Innovation Summer Academy

Maker Innovation Academy Summer Options

Smart Fabrics and Wearable Tech

Jul 13 – Jul 24

Empow Studios Wearable Technology Icon
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Designing a Micro-space Tiny Home

Jul 27 – Aug 7

Empow Studios Tiny Home program with Artisan's Asylum
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Build a Community-Powered Vehicle

Aug 10 – Aug 21

Community-Powered Vehicle
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Somerville Summer Schedule & Costs

Cost
$1400 for each two-week session

Times:
9am-3pm

Grades:
6 through 10. (by Fall 2020)

Somerville Maker Innovation Academy Details

Smart Fabrics & Wearable Tech: July 13 – July 24

Program Overview

Rethink how technology can be integrated into things you wear or carry every day!

Wearables now make up a large portion of tech sales as people want technology to be woven into their daily life. From smart watches to smart shoes, wearable tech is changing how we live.

In this two-week workshop, students will learn to create garments that include wearable tech by programming technology that can be added to different garments. By using performance and play narratives that set the scene for how and why the wearables will be used, student will program interactive elements into their wearable tech to navigate through different environments or scenes.

Students can creatively design their garments to be responsive to movement, measure distance, communicate messages, or respond to obstacles. The possibilities are only limited by their imagination!

Skills and Tools
  • Communicate, cooperate and problem-solve in a group setting using play
  • Work in groups to plan, design and iterate concepts for wearable and for their narratives
  • Use Adafruit technology, neopixles and other circuit tech to enhance a garment
  • Learn to program a Raspberry Pi to control the wearable tech
  • Use narrative design, game design and environmentally embedded signals to facilitate an adaptive garment that responds to the story or performance
  • Use microcontrollers, sensor technology and programming to enable their garments to respond to movement, measure distance or communicate a message
  • Learn the iterative process of design, owning failures and making improvements that lead to success
  • Work in a team setting to define goals, mobilize resources, and manage a project
  • Present a project to mentors and classmates

Designing a Micro-Space That Works for Work, Life & Play: July 27 – Aug 7

Program Overview

Space is not only the final frontier but also what we must consider when designing liveable and workable areas when square footage is constrained. From the tiny-home craze to micro-living and micro-working in dense, urban areas, small spaces are designed to perform multiple functions using less space.

During this two week course, students will work to design, prototype and build out a micro-space that fulfills the needs of a client through clever engineering, modular building and smart design. Students will learn 3D Design and 3D Sculpting using digital fabrication tools to plan their layouts and furniture, then design and prototype their initial micro-space. Based on the success (or failure) or their prototype, students will then learn to iterate their designs and build out a 100sq foot usable space* together.

Skills and Tools
  • Skills and Tools
  • Communicate, cooperate and problem-solve in a group setting using play
  • Work in groups to plan, design and iterate concepts for micro-spaces
  • Use SketchUp and other CAD design programs to plan and manufacture pieces for their space
  • Learn how CAD programs interface with CNC machinery, used for manufacturing and building
  • Learn the iterative process of design, owning failures and making improvements that lead to success
  • Use engineering and design principles in layout and building
  • Work in a team setting to define goals, mobilize resources, and manage a project
  • Present a full-scale project to mentors and classmates

Build A Community-Powered Vehicle: Aug 10 – Aug 21

Program Overview

MicroMobility and “last mile” transportation is a fancy way of saying bikes, scooters, and electric skateboards, which are becoming more common ways that we move about cities. These vehicles are a great way to reduce our reliance on cars and reduce our carbon footprint.

But with this advancement in personal transportation, the usability is often limited only to able-bodied people. How can students help transform bikes, scooters or electric skateboards for anyone, regardless of ability, to use?

During this two-week course, students will work with mentors to brainstorm new ideas for last-mile transportation solutions to help a person with limited mobility be less reliant on a car to move about their city. Students will work on designing and prototyping personal transportation vehicles that address multiple needs from a user; after multiple iterations, students will then select one prototype to build a full-scale model.

Skills and Tools
  • Communicate, cooperate and problem-solve in a group setting using play
  • Work in groups to plan, design and iterate concepts for a personal transportation machine
  • Learn how CAD programs interface with CNC machinery, used for manufacturing and building
  • Use Makerpipe for an easy “welding” solution to build their full-scale model
  • Learn the iterative process of design, owning failures and making improvements that lead to success
  • Use engineering and design principles in prototyping their personal transportation machine
  • Work in a team setting to define goals, mobilize resources, and manage a project
  • Present a full-scale project to mentors and classmates

Our STEM Curriculum & Teaching Approach

We have always been focused on getting girls and boys across a wide range of interests and ages excited about the creative power of technology. As educators, we’re also constantly trying to improve our practices and tools. We’ve built a new system that will support both of these goals: Talent Box.

Each child’s accomplishments are acknowledged in a way that is motivating, lasting, and flexible through the use of badges. Badges are awarded when kids complete tracks in specific technologies, and are also awarded for leveling-up in cross-disciplines, including secret unlockable badges! Kids choose projects that level-up in three domains: Art & Design, Building, and Coding.

Art & Design

Building

Coding

Let's get in touch!

Questions about Somerville Maker Innovation Academy?

Call (800) 456-4949 or send a message:

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Re: Empow Camps

Your Message

We loved the Empow experience. My kids could not get enough of it – they nagged us every morning to leave earlier (which has never happened before). I am really pleased that both boys, who have very different interests, were so engaged.

Melissa, a Lexington Empow Camp mother

“It’s a unique camp… where you can learn new technologies, which is something you can’t really do at home.”

“I keep coming back here because it’s a place where I can be myself.”
“If I could come here all the time, I definitely would want to.”

Quotes from Empow Campers!

Serving the communities of Somerville, Allston, Arlington, Belmont, Boston, Brighton, Cambridge, Charlestown, Chelsea, Concord, Everett, Lexington, Malden, Medford, Melrose, Revere, Stoneham, Waltham, Watertown, Wayland, Winchester, and Woburn.

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