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Idea Incubator

Idea Incubator

The Idea Incubator program at MakerKids allows kids to learn about and develop projects in Coding, Robotics, and Minecraft! Classes rotate between these three topics, using a multidisciplinary approach to draw connections between topics in class and the world around us.

Grades 3-5 & 6-8

Beginner: No coding, robotics or Minecraft experience required

Experienced: Some coding, robotics, and Minecraft Java Edition experience required.

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The MakerKids Idea Incubator program allows kids to learn about and develop projects in Coding, Robotics, and Minecraft! Classes rotate between these three topics, using a multidisciplinary approach to draw connections between topics in class and the world around us.

Coding is an important language to learn. With the demand for STEM workers continuing to increase, learning coding from an early age is a sure way to gain an advantage in today’s competitive career world. Kids code games, websites and more. They learn how computers work, exercise creativity by coming up with ideas for how their project will look and feel, and build resilience and perseverance when trouble-shooting their code.

Kids will learn everything they need to know to code their very own game: character development, storyboarding, animation, environment and level design, beta testing and, of course, coding.

Skills Learned: Resilience, Confidence, Internet Safety, Logic, Game Design, Beta-Testing

In Robotics, kids will design, plan, program, and build electronic inventions while using a robotics microcontroller and learning how to code. Kids will better understand how everyday objects around them work and will have the opportunity to bring their ideas to life.

The microcontrollers we use are used by industry professionals.

Kids make electronic creations that they previously could have only dreamed of. Make lights light up, motors spin, and code a ‘robot brain’ to make something awesome. Kids get to see the results of their code right before their eyes. They realize that they can make things that others can use. Past projects: nightlights, motion-activated alarms, rovers, and more. Kids exercise creativity by developing project ideas, learn to design projects for specific user needs, and give and receive feedback on their designs.

Skills Learned: Self-Confidence, Creativity, Teamwork, Coding, Electronics, Math, Reading, Writing, Design

In Minecraft, kids learn how to make Minecraft even more awesome, how computers and servers work, and core computer programming concepts while collaborating with kids equally excited about Minecraft.

We use the incredibly popular game Minecraft (now a mandatory school subject in parts of Europe) as a medium to help kids build transferable skills such as coding, electronics, 3D design, servers, and more. We leverage kids’ interest in Minecraft as a gateway to introduce them to other STEM topics such as Robotics and Coding. Minecraft is also a great medium for teaching positive netizen skills and communication skills. Kids build amazing digital creations.

Skills Learned: Social Skills, Patience, Communication, Teamwork, Problem-Solving, Coding, 3D Design

Kids learn core skills that get applied in projects to integrate their learning and make it fun. Some of the core skills learned and sample projects made include:

  • Coding
    • Intro to Scratch’s Interface
    • Coding Characters’ Looks
    • Custom Character Costumes
    • Project: Moustache Party
    • Events (triggering code to run)
    • Project: Plant Watering
    • Project: Plant Watering (Watering Can)
    • Relative Motion (make sprites move)
    • Absolute Motion (make sprites move)
    • Repeat Loops (repeating your code)
    • Project: Walk the line
    • Forever Loops (never ending games)
    • Project: Walk around the circle
  • Minecraft:
    • Commands
      • Chat and Command Prompt (writing commands)
      • Game Mode (switch between creative and survival)
      • Warp (teleport to a set location)
      • Back (teleport back to where you were)
      • Set Warp (set a location to teleport to)
      • Teleport to Player
      • Top and Thru (instantly move through blocks)
      • Skull (get player heads)
      • Eect (benefits of potions without the brewing)
      • Give (get any number of any item instantly)
      • Enchant (magically improve your items)
    • Redstone
      • Redstone Basics
      • Creating Power (Inputs)
      • Using Power (Outputs)
      • Project: Auto-Door
      • Repeaters (extending power)
      • Powering Blocks
  •  Robotics:
    •  MicroBit
      • Microbit and MakeCode (coding Microbits)
      • Input Events (Buttons and Shaking)
      • Songs and Sounds with Buzzers
      • Project: Flashy Heart
      • Project: Smiley Button
      • Project: Love Meter
      • Project: Coin Flipper
    • Arduino
      • Arduinos and Electricity
      • Connecting the Arduino
      • TinkerCAD and Programs
      • Digital Output (with an LED light)
      • Delay (Putting the Arduino to sleep)
      • Project: Blink (flashing an LED light)
      • Project: Dual Blink (flashing LED lights)
      • Analog Output (dimming LED lights)
      • Tone Output (makie sound with a buzzer)
      • Loops (repeating code)
      • SONGS (program robots to play music)
      • Project: SOS (messages in Morse Code)
      • Project: Sunrise Sunset

Coding: Skills Learned

Resilience
Confidence
Internet Safety
Game Design
Beta Testing

MakerKids Mindset for Coding: Resilience

Coding requires a lot of trial and error. Programmers spend most of their time figuring out why the code they think should be working, keeps failing. The resilience to dig into error messages, run countless tests, address numerous bugs, and often starting from scratch with a different approach, is what eventually leads to rewarding success. This resilience can be used in many areas of life and is a valued skill worth having.

Minecraft: Skills Learned

Social Skills
Patience
Communication
Coding
Teamwork
Problem Solving
3D Design

MakerKids Mindset for Minecraft: Communication

Many people have the misconception that Minecraft involves kids zoning out in front of a computer. That’s not the case at MakerKids. Everyone in the classroom is joining the same cooperative virtual world which means offline in-person interaction is just as important as online. As with all teams, traits such as empathy, understanding, and communication are key to successfully share ideas, resolve conflicts, and achieve goals. Whether kids are working with a group to assign tasks for a custom themed texture pack, helping a friend figure out why their redstone circuitry isn’t working properly, or brainstorming what to do when two people both want to build in the same place, our mentors support kids with techniques and guidance to effectively express how they feel, while Minecraft gives them plenty of opportunities to practice.

Robotics: Skills Learned

Confidence
Teamwork
Math
Electronics
Reading
Writing
Design

MakerKids Mindset for Robotics: Confidence

Robotics involves a lot of technical skill and deep thinking. Concepts like circuitry can be tricky to work with. The best understanding comes from seeing things in action, and that requires first giving it a try.
In addition to the testing required for inquiry-based learning, with robots, there are countless reasons why something doesn’t work as intended. Having the self-confidence to experiment while working through a problem and trying new things to see which one works is an asset in all areas of life.

Basic Requirements:

    • A laptop or desktop
    • Internet connection
    • Headset with microphone and headphones (or computer with microphone and speakers)
    • Keyboard and a mouse
    • Chrome browser
    • Webcam (optional)
    • Minecraft system requirements (source)
      • Minecraft: PC (Windows 7 or later) or Mac (OSX 10.7 or later) computer (not a Chromebook)
        • CPU: Intel Core i3-3210 3.2 GHz / AMD A8-7600 APU 3.1 GHz or equivalent (older or less powerful CPUs may work but may be unstable in some situations)
        • RAM: 4GB or more (<4GB RAM may work but may be unstable in some situations)
      • Minecraft Java Edition Launcher Installed
        (instructions for this can be found here)
    • A Minecraft Java Edition account purchased

For more information, visit our FAQ page.

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Class Details

1 hour or 2 hours

Choose between a 1 hour or 2 hour weekly timeslot

1:5 instructor:child ratio

1:5 instructor:child ratio or better

Project-based learning

A new project each week, allowing kids to join anytime. Projects combine foundational building blocks with new material, which teaches and reinforces concepts in new ways to learn by doing through project-based learning.

1 – 5+ years

Participants typically stay in this program for 1-5+ years.

Pricing

Weekly 1 Hour Class

$129/ month & student(+HST)
  • Flexibility of month-to-month payments
  • 1-hr team session per week
  • 5:1 student to instructor ratio

Weekly 2 Hour Class

$199/ month & student(+HST)
  • Flexibility of month-to-month payments
  • 2-hr team session per week
  • 5:1 student to instructor ratio
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Find Your Program and Start Date and Sign Up Now!

All classes are VIRTUAL (learn from home) and taught by live instructors.
All times are in EST (Eastern Standard Time).

Pick your weekly time and start date to begin learning.

Don’t see a time that works for you? Request a time.
Looking for a private class? Book here.

Why Parents and Children Love MakerKids

Expert Facilitators

With a passion for youth and technology, our Maker Mentors recognize the uniqueness of your child and fosters their creative side and joy for STEM. Maker Mentors are trained to have students focus on the why and discover the logic behind the code instead of following a prescriptive set of instructions.

Engaging Curriculum

Weekly programs are built for all interests and experience levels. See the excitement in your child as they watch their work come to life. All classes include mini-lessons on internet safety and computer literacy so your child is better prepared to navigate the digital world.

Social Connections

With a 5 to 1 child to staff ratio and a focus on collaborative problem solving our classes are designed for your child to actively participate. Parents are amazed at how fast their child opens up socially, as they connect and build friendships with like-minded children.

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Testimonial

“Our kids also enjoy learning a new coding language and I’ve watched my younger one who started off being a bit shy and unwilling to share online to make new friends and became one of the most talkative ones in class.”

– Debbie Fung

Success Story

Max, age 11

  • After starting our prorgram, Max taught a coding class at his school. Over a 10 week period, Max taught 60 different students after school, starting from grade 2.
  • Max was a top four finalist for Best Game at his school’s street fair. He was even visited by the school district Vice President!

Meet An Instructor

Meet Ariel, One of Our Maker-Mentors

Certified Teacher with a Background in Early Childhood Education

Hello, my name is Ariel! I have worked for the YMCA, volunteered for day camps and had a number of placements in other learning spaces such as TDSB classrooms and the Boys and Girls Club. I completed my undergrad at Ryerson University where I studied Early Childhood Education. I most recently earned my Bachelors of Education at University of Ontario Institute of Technology where I graduated with the highest distinction. More simply put, I love learning.
Specialties: Teaching children with unique skills and abilities, meeting diverse learning needs and optimism!

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