How are we different?

We have had many questions about Young Makers Lab and how it compares to some other places that are popping up (and down).

People want to know:

"Who are you?" YML is an arm of a larger, older company known as Digi-Camp. We were founded by two teachers, Mark Stansell and Kris Swanson and have run camps every spring, summer and winter since 2006. We are here to stay!
"How long have you been in business?" YML has been open for business in Boca Raton since 2014. We recently opened in Wellington because families from the western communities have been asking us to do so.
"Are you the same thing as The Lab or Kids Wonder Lab?" We are not. YML is a true makerspace for kids. I should mention that what we do is not a "drop-in" type program. We have specific age-appropriate curriculum for "clubs" and "workshops" that are scaffolding in nature. We don't do demonstrations - such as science demos, as those companies had done in the past. We DO give kids tools and skills that help them solve real problems and create cool things. Also, our owners are not the same folks that operated the Lab or KWL.
"What is a workshop?" Most of our "workshops" are 6 hour workshops, delivered over 4 weeks in 1.5 hour sessions. Kids learn the basics of coding for video game design, or microprocessor design, or 3D design and printing. "Workshops" are defined as single topic and have stop and start dates.
"What about makers clubs? What are those?" Our "Makers Clubs" are like-aged children who meet once a week and have experiences with a wide range of skills and tools to make things and solve problems - example: graphic design, 3D printing, electronics, coding and even using our CNC machine and laser cutter.

One of our middle school kids right now is working on a Pokeman Go cheater contraption that will take his phone on a walk (or rather simulate a walk) so he can hatch eggs faster. This contraption includes a conveyor belt, motors, switches and a holder for his phone - all of which he is building.

Our grade 4/5 and middle school makers are currently working on making tee shirts with our screen printing machine. First they have learned to use vector art drawing programs and a drawing tablet - a Wacom. They are creating their own "logo" and then transferring that logo to shirts and posters on our screenprinter. They are also cutting out their logo on the CNC or laser cutter.

Our younger Makers Club members were working on two projects recently - one was an art installation that included LED lights, coin batteries, copper tape, and a self-made switch. The other project was a coding project that ended with the kids making a tee shirt of their "coded art." For this project they used a program called Turtle Art. They write code (drag and drop style) to control a "Turtle" that will draw for them based on their code.

In all of the "Makers Clubs" kids create cool things such as catapults, trebuchets, electronic games, tee shirts, 3D printed name tags and charms, and so much more. These things go home once they are complete.

And it should be noted that new members to the makers clubs don't begin at the CNC machine or laser cutter. As I mentioned there is a curriculum that is scaffolding in nature. As kids learn new skills their experiences broaden and their ability to build and create more complex things increases.

"What if we want to just drop-in to see if we like the space and the staff?" As you can see by our description, a "drop-in" isn't the best possible way to experience what we offer - however we do have "Friday Night Minecraft" events twice a month at each location.

Here is the upcoming Friday Night schedule for both locations - Boca Raton and Wellington South.

Our Friday night events are 2.5 hours and we feed your kids pizza and juice, then give them a couple of hours on our computers to play Minecraft. We don't have the kids on the internet playing, instead we provide an in-house server for them to interact with each other and we give them creative, cooperative build challenges. We don't allow PVP (player vs player) and it is not a free-for-all. We are structured and give the kids a fun, creative experience.

  • Another Friday Night at YML!
  • Creative!
  • R2D2 and Dave the Minion! My best friends!
  • Mario and Pikachu!
  • MMMM! Where's the Pizza!

YML is partners with Digi-Camp, offering amazing 21st Century Camps!