• If you are citizen of an European Union member nation, you may not use this service unless you are at least 16 years old.

  • Stop wasting time looking for files and revisions. Connect your Gmail, DriveDropbox, and Slack accounts and in less than 2 minutes, Dokkio will automatically organize all your file attachments. Learn more and claim your free account.


Youth Innovation Camp

Page history last edited by daniela.lyra@... 4 years, 3 months ago


Header 1-01 (1).png






Youth Innovation Camp








There are great ways for kids to spend their time off from school. If the activities enable participants to use their creativity to self-express, tinker, and learn new skills, it’s even better. Youth Innovation Camp, Casa Thomas Jefferson’s very first summer camp, motivated participants to come to the main branch for five days and experience different learning possibilities. The themes varied from inventions, entrepreneurship, coding, 3D printing, making, and STEAM. Find here all the detailed lesson plans, promotional materials, class materials, and ideas to get inspired to run a camp too. Parents and campers gave Casa Thomas Jefferson very positive feedback and considered the initiative to be innovative and rich. We, CTJ American Space staff, were thrilled to see the engagement of creative minds at work and felt reassured that the maker movement adds value to extracurricular language activities. 


We used Smithsonian content to enrich participants` experiences. Please, notice that the Smithsonian input added new perspective to the activities we proposed, for it enriched the discussion and provided learning opportunities.


We advertised the camp on our social media and sent emails. The response was extremely positive. We were prepared to run one edition of the camp for thirty participants. However, the waiting list was so long that we decided to run the same camp on the following week for forty participants. So, we delivered the activities you read below for a total of 70 students. The pieces of feedback we received from parents and participants were exceptional. Casa Thomas Jefferson will offer more camps and will also offer workshops during the year at our American Space to lure participants to our learning environment, and teach English in a dynamic way.


Check our Newsletter


Five meetings of three hours each

Time - 2:30 to 5:30

Target audience - 9 a 12 year olds 

Up to forty participants

Breaking even number - 22



  • Invention
  • Maker activities to boost collaboration and creativity
  • Entrepreneurship
  • Coding
  • Digital literacy



The activities were designed collaboratively. The library staff was an active participant of the whole process since the beginning. We used our social media platforms and mailing lists to promote the program.

Promotional materials 


Pagseguro was used to sell the camp. We charged R$290,00 per participant, and we managed to make a fair profit, which will be reinvested in the program.

We used google drive to communicate with parents. We sent an email to parents per day right after the camp  to talk about the activities carried out, send links, and send resources campers liked to use. We also sent on the mails a google drive link so that parents could have access to pictures of their children performing the tasks.

See example of our communication with families here.


Feedback from participants  camp 1 


Feedback from participants camp 2 

Camp Fire

Parents could bring the kids half an hour before the camp and pick them up half an hour after the activities were over. We organized a camp fire with drop in activities to make the kids comfortable and eager to connect with us. For the camp fire we had:

  • Osmos

  • Makey Makey

  • Spinning art

  • Magnetic toys

  • Legos

  • ipads with fun apps







Inventor Training Day


Participants faced challenges that grew their ability to imagine and create new things. It was a  Day to wonder how to invent things that have never been thought of before. The motto of the day was: It’s OK to fail!






Maker kits for Toy Making


We started the day showing the video below and eliciting from participants what it takes to be an inventor.

Screen Shot 2015-11-17 at 9.32.11 AM


Kitchen Inventions 

Chefs are dedicated to flavor and to the skill of cooking. They must be chemists, artists, and inventors all at once. First, campers learned a cooking technique. Then they chose their own ingredients to prepare their snacks. Children made two French Toasts roll up to have during the break and other two to take home.

Tip for facilitator 

Notice that this activity differs from cooking classes, for it gives participants freedom to play around and create their own recipes.


Hacking Everything

Hackers can customize and hack technologies to do things they aren't designed to do. Campers hacked broken toys into musical instruments or transformed household gadgets into awesome experiments.

Tip for facilitator 

Show the images on the ppt to make sure students get what you mean and start getting creative.

Remind parents to bring broken toys for this day, but had some in stock. We run an internal campaign to gather the materials we needed (broken electrical appliances and broken electric toys). We had lots of small screwdrivers, dc models, batteries, and computer fans available too.



Campers tried out and shared their kitchen inventions.


Toy Making

Toy Makers design objects that invite people to interact and explore. Campers worked collaboratively in groups of four. Each group  received  different maker kits, but each participants within the group  had his/her own kit to tinker with and take home.

Tip for facilitator 

Get your kits ready beforehand  and make sure your team is comfortable putting them together. Make sure you have enough tools for everyone.

Order your kits from the super maker Glauco Paiva or make your own.




3D Modeling and Coding 

The future is here. Participants learned from basics how to use Scratch to build their ideas. Campers learned that with just a few pieces of code, they can tell stories and create games. Kids also start to get acquainted with Rapid Prototyping - the vanguard of a new way to make. Kids use 3d app design and a 3D printer to make their own robots in minutes.The activities start from basic to a little more complex so that true beginners could follow and learn how to code. However, we had challenges ready for the participants who could program already to make sure the day was motivating and challenging for everyone.


Tip for facilitator 

To make this activity possible, for we had very little expertise on coding, we partnered with a UNB student who was working as an intern at Casa Thomas Jefferson to help us out.





3D printing robot identification card

Manual for Robotic arm 

Eight plastic cups per group



apps to download:




One 3D printer and filament


Robotic Arm

This low tech activity teaches campers  the connection between symbols and actions, as well as the valuable skill of debugging.



Hour of Code

To start the activity, we showed a quick video of President Obama inviting everyone to code.


 Campers had the opportunity to nurture problem-solving skills, logic and creativity. Campers participated in an Hour of Code event by trying one of the beginner tutorials on Code.org/learn. To start, we suggest the tutorials Angry Birds or Anna and Elsa. The more advanced participants  should be able to finish one of these in 30 minutes, and they can move on to more advanced tutorials in JavaScript, such as Khan Academy or CodeHS. 




3D Printing

To explore the different uses of 3D modeling and printing nowadays, we showed a short video and asked some follow up questions.

Screen Shot 2015-11-17 at 9.25.14 AM

Campers watched a video about 3D printing and saw our printer in action.


Campers used an app called tinkerplay and made their own robots. 

Tip for facilitator 

To make this activity possible, you can partner with maker clubs or hobbyists. For our experience,  makers are always eager to share their knowledge and inventions. Get to know the maker clubs, hacker clubs, and Fab labs in your area.





Day to engage with experiments and learn Science, Technology, Engineering, arts, and math. Campers were asked to come wearing comfortable clothes and shoes that they did not mind getting dirty.













CoÌ�pia de day-4 (1)  

Young entrepreneur Incubator 

Day to think out of the box, innovate, and reflect upon good product design. The activities designed for this day were inspired by the entrepreneur incubator originally designed by The Smithsonian Institute. See detailed lesson plan here


Designing  Products

Participants completed the chart based on the concept section of the Development Content Pyramid. Working in small groups, they combined different aspects of actual current businesses to create new, fictitious businesses/products. They learned fundamental business concepts as demographic, core audience, and location. They  also worked individually to create first drafts of product designs and/or logos for their own potential businesses.


Stop- motion Advertisement Campaign  (brainstorm and  story boarding)

Participants  shared concepts, made a product campaign, and created an advertising campaign using stop motion videos on mobile devices.



The Day of Making

Participants were welcomed to DIY, learn new skills, and create new things. The Maker Movement offers participants opportunities to tinker, learn from failure, and work in groups. for The Day of Making, we made sure the camp ended in a very lively tune with the presence of parents, friends and families.


The Brown Bag STEAM Challenge

Brown bag challenge is a fun and interesting way to engage students with STEAM activities. Students got  brown bags with things inside and we told them they should make something out of it. We pasted labels telling students what they should make, but we did not deliver any instructions. Instead, we motivated students to work together and use the internet to help them figure out by themselves.

For these challenges, we divided students in groups of six, and we gave each group three sets of the same challenge. Students worked in pairs, but there were more people involved in the same project, so they could collaborate a lot. When students finished one challenge, we provided them with some time to play with their invention before we gave them another set of brown bags.


Maker Faire

Families were invited to our  maker faire showcase. We set up drop in stations so that participants could feel the thrill of working with different materials and kits. As groups of campers moved around stations, they had their passports stamped.






Comments (0)

You don't have permission to comment on this page.