Maker Spotlight: MakerGirl


MakerGirl has been running sessions since November 2014. This past fall and spring 80 girls have gone through our MakerGirl workshops. This summer with our more frequent sessions we hope to quadruple the number of girls we can reach. Our mission is by 2025 there will be an equal number of women and men involved in STEM K-12 education programs and pursuing STEM degrees. We want to inspire and educate girls to show them what they are capable of as strong individuals. This summer through our innovative 3D printing sessions we are doing just that and the girls love it!

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This summer MakerGirl has designed four new 3D printing sessions as well as a four day camp for the young participants. These sessions focus on teaching the girls about STEM as well as the forever changing 3D printing world. We start first by giving s short lesson so the girls understand what STEM is as well as how the 3D printing process works. Then the girls get started with the design process. They are able to create something from scratch on an easy to use website called Tinkercad.com. The girls are able to customize their creation which truly makes the experience one of a kind. As we walk them through getting their design onto the 3D MakerBot printers, we explain how the software and 3D printing works together. MakerBot printers have an open face, so the MakerGirls are able to watch the printer make their creation come to life right in front of their eyes.

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Our new and exciting 4D camp allows the girls to dream, design, develop, and display their creation. The girls will be making a game of their choice and using their own imagination they get to design the game itself. We want the campers to get to know each other and to inspire each other while designing. They can then use the 3D printing lab to make the pieces of their game. The MakerGirl team will then work with the girl on making a type of presentation to show their game off to family and their new friends in camp. We want the girls to learn important skills while having fun and taking home an amazing piece of their own work to show off and play with.

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This summer MakerGirl is participating in the Entrepreneurship at Illinois Fellowship. We want to thank the University of Illinois, the members of the fellowship and the fellowship leaders for this amazing opportunity. From this fellowship MakerGirl is learning how to further develop as a startup company so we can keep improving ourselves and our sessions. The fellowship has also allowed MakerGirl to continue its relationship with the Chicago Innovation Exchange as well as Southern Illinois University. MakerGirl wants to reach as many girls as possible and working with other places in Illinois is a great start. With the fellowship funds, MakerGirl will hopefully become mobile! Our sessions will be able to be taught in venues without 3D printers, but the participants will still get the experience of using one as well will have our own to travel with. We are currently developing sessions new sessions for the future when MakerGirl is fully equipped and prepared to do this. We want to thank the Entrepreneurship at Illinois Fellowship again for this truly amazing opportunity.

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MakerGirl is doing a lot of great things this summer, from sessions to camps and expansions. Of course this would not be possible without the help of the Illinois MakerLab so we thank them for their help and support along the way. To find out more about what MakerGirl is doing this summer visit our website makergirl.us. There you can find information about our sessions and you can see what is coming up for MakerGirl.