About MakerState

MakerState STEAM-Mastery

MakerState STEAM-mastery makerspaces for kids. MakerState empowers kids ages 6-14 with science, technology, engineering, arts, and math (STEAM) passion and skill through hands-on projects in robot engineering, wearable electronic fashions, video game design, 3D prototyping and printing, comic book creation, and moviemaking. MakerState hosts more than 100 makerspaces nationwide in schools and after-school programs as well as community workshops, pop up makerspaces, and summer camps. Learn how you can bring a makerspace to your school or community here.

What is Maker Mastery?

I want a makerspace for my kids!

The Challenge

How does MakerState inspire kids with a love of learning? The core of our STEAM-mastery makerspace program is the “Challenge” project (science, tech, engineering, arts, math). Challenges are 10-45 min. hands-on building projects which lead our kids into new skill masteries everyday. Our Challenges are developed by experienced maker-educators and playtested in makerspaces with partners as Stanford d.school, NYU-ITP, EdLab Teachers College-Columbia University, Schools That Can, and Highlander Institute.

Empowering Kids

Our kids practice the Engineering Design Process everyday (aka “Design Thinking”)–the same creative process used at Apple, Toyota, GE, and NASA:

  • Identify a problem
  • Brainstorm solutions
  • Design a product
  • Build a prototype
  • Playtest for improvement

Here are a few of
our Challenges

Challenge: Glowing Cyclops

Mastery Area: Engineer
Big Idea: In a circuit, electricity moves from an area of high potential energy (negative charge) to an area of low potential energy (positive charge), powering an output.
Real World Challenge: Using a battery, copper tape, and an LEDs create a simple circuit that lights an LED. This circuit will power a single glowing eye in a face that you design.

Challenge: Ready, Set, Go! Squishy Circuits Traffic Control

Mastery Area: Engineer
Big Idea: Some materials conduct electricity and some don’t. In a series circuit, components are connected along a single path.
Real World Challenge: Make a tactile circuit using squishy clay, and use it to power a stoplight that signals cars on the racetrack in the Design Derby Challenge.

Challenge: Wearable LED Superhero Bracelet

Mastery Area: Engineer
Big Idea: In a circuit, electricity moves from an area of high potential energy (negative charge) to an area of low potential energy (positive charge). Ohm’s law states that the current through a conductor between two points is directly proportional to the potential difference across the two points.
Real World Challenge: Create your own light-up, wearable fashions using LEDs and soft circuits sewn with conductive thread on colorful fabric.

Challenge: Tower of Power

Mastery Area: Designer
Big Idea: Different materials, geometric shapes, and structural supports keep tall buildings standing.
Real World Challenge: Design and create a structure to add to our cardboard city, and see if your skyscraper stands up to gale-force winds.

Challenge: Design Derby

Mastery Area: Designer
Big Idea: Lots of factors and forces determine the speed of a vehicle: mass, acceleration, momentum, friction, aerodynamics, balance.
Real World Challenge: Design and assemble a mini-car and race it against other cars on different tracks.

Challenge: Elephant Coffee Break

Mastery Area: Designer
Big Idea: When we design any new object, we have to think about the user we’re designing for, and make decisions about scale, shape, and size based on the needs and requirements of our end user.
Real World Challenge: How does an elephant drink? What shape would be best for an elephant’s coffee cup? Design and create a 3D model of the perfect coffee cup for an elephant.

Challenge: Blizzard Blitz

Mastery Area: Programmer
Big Idea: In computer programming, variables are used to store information that can change dynamically. By changing the variables in this program, you can increase the amount, speed, size of snowflakes in the blizzard, and even change the direction in which the snow is falling!
Real World Challenge: Manipulate a computer generated particle system—a snowfall–and watch the snowflakes fall and fly!

Challenge: Image Spinner

Mastery Area: Artist/Storyteller
Big Idea: When we see two images flash by in rapid succession, an afterimage of the second image stays in our mind even as we perceive the next image, a phenomenon called persistence of vision. Persistence of vision allows us to perceive sequences of images, like those in a movie, as a continuous picture.
Real World Challenge: Create your own version of the antique Victorian era toy that merges two separate images into one on a spinning disk.

Challenge: Comic Strip Mash-Up

Mastery Area: Artist/Storyteller
Big Idea: A three-panel comic strip is a mini-narrative, with a beginning, a middle, and an end. Every story needs a set-up, a conflict, and resolution. If you know one element, you can play with the others.
Real World Challenge: Borrow a frame and an idea from an old comic to make a totally new three-panel story of your own.

Challenge: Stop Motion Mini-Movie

Mastery Area: Artist/Storyteller
Big Idea: When we play a collection of sequential images or frames at a fast enough speed, they become a continuous, animated movie.
Real World Challenge: Make a 7-second stop-motion animation using action figures and sets that tells a mini-story with a beginning, middle, and end. Upload your movie to the web and share your story!

Let’s Start Making!

To learn more about starting a makerspace to your school or community, Contact us at info@maker-state.com or Call us at 917-780-2345

New York City STEM Programs

At MakerState, we are working to pioneer and provision hands-on STEM education in New York City and nationwide. Your child can join us, every day and all year long in the makerspace!

  • After School Inventor’s Clubs – After School makerspace on the Upper West Side Where children are challenged with a new build each week in coding, robotics, 3D design and more.

  • STEM & Coding Summer Camp – A week full of fun-first STEM challenge builds that develop STEM skills as well as real-world problem solving, communication and social skills, plus outdoor play!

  • Holiday Camps – Every day or week school is out for holidays, we are open for fun-first STEM challenge builds that develop real-world problem solving, communication and social skills, plus outdoor play!

  • Saturday workshops – Our weekend workshops run from 9am-12pm and include creative hands-on STEM and coding projects to inspire your budding engineer!

See Weekly STEM Camp Themes


We’re teachers, scientists, technologists, artists, coders, activists, tinkerers…makers.

We Believe the Future of Learning is in Creation!

New York STEM Education – The MakerState Mission:

MakerState’s mission is to help transform K-12 education through student-centered, inquiry-based and experiential learning. We foster a love of lifelong learning through hands-on STEM/coding creativity for all kids ages 6-14. Our approach to STEM education allows kids to create and problem solve through the implementation of robotic technology, coding, engineering, rocket science, game design, Minecraft and 3D design and more.

Designed to ignite passion!


STEM Education in New York City!

We are working to transform K-12 education. To this end, MakerState is working to build capacity and increase STEM/coding within schools through the implementation of makerspaces and teacher training.

MakerState partners with organizations such as Schools That Can, the National Science Foundation Maker Partnership and NYC DOE’s ‘CS4all’ to train and support over 5,000 New York City teachers in teaching coding and STEM to their elementary and middle school students.

A Message from our Founder

Our kids’ potential is limitless! It’s our role as parents and educators to help our children discover their passions. I started MakerState STEM education with my son Ben to share the fun we had in our play-based, hands-on building projects in robotics, coding and engineering with elementary and middle school-age kids throughout our city.

As a father, former public school teacher, and veteran, I believe that we have to provide opportunities for all kids to fall in love with STEM education. At MakerState, we have created the space to do just that.

MakerState is here to help foster that love through fun, real-world STEM projects. The communication, creativity, critical thinking, and problem-solving skills they learn will empower them in school, college and beyond. I’m excited about our kids’ future!

Stephen Gilman, Founder & Executive Director

Why MakerState?

  • Learning through play, art and games

  • Building with cardboard, clay, playfoam, circuits and code

  • Taking on new challenges and earning new sticker badges

  • Playtesting our designs and learning that problem-solving is fun

  • Learning to create something new every day!

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