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MakeShop Micro Grants to have major impact on kids’ entry into the Maker world

January20/ 2012

Adam Nye wants kids “to be engaged in the design process and be engaged with new technologies. We want to spread this new Maker [philosophy] throughout Pittsburgh.”

This is one reason the Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh has opened a new permanent exhibit, the MakeShop, which Nye manages — and that’s why the museum is using funds from the Grable Foundation and other support from The Sprout Fund and The Pittsburgh Foundation to offer “Maker” micro grants to organizations that work with youth. These Micro Grants (up to $5,000) are for programs that engage children aged 7 to 17 in hands-on design and object production surrounding two themes: Wearables and Rideables. The projects can be as different as “a wearable gaming system or cupcakes on wheels,” the museum suggests.

The entry deadline is March 16 for Wearables and April 20 for Rideables, with online judging.

The idea, Nye says, is “to help other nonprofits in the area create Make experiences for kids and young people.” Groups that are already doing projects of this type, such as Hack Pittsburgh in Uptown and Assemble in Garfield, have the best chance of gaining these grants. “These organizations have so many knowledgeable people in them,” he says, “but sometimes it’s hard to reach the younger audience.”

Writer: Marty Levine

Source: Adam Nye, Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh