A message from the Executive Director and Q&A on programming

Dear MakerState Families,

As a father, former public school teacher, and MakerState’s executive Director, I want to send a message to you of encouragement and assurance that we are still here for your kids and family.

It’s been our joy to bring your kids transformative learning experiences all these years and we are privileged to be among the special few who are now able to help them to continue to learn, to create, to share and to dream together online. We have brought every bit of our STEM know-how to virtual maker learning and together, we are still building, coding, and creating art, stories, and music every day with Inventor’s Club Online. We are honored to support children of essential workers with our Frontline Families initiative giving them full scholarships to our online classes. We are planning for contingencies to make STEM Summer Camp the best camp experience ever. Please see our Q&A section below to answer some questions you may have about our programs at this time.

We are all facing so many challenges in making our parenting and jobs, our budgets and our lives work in this unprecedented time. I am asking that you stick with MakerState and other non-profits and small businesses through this time. We want to be here for you through this difficult time and in the years to come, when hands-on STEM education will be more important than ever.

From my family to yours, be well, stay safe, and remember every day: Our kids can change our world for the better together.

Stephen, Laura and Ben

MakerState Programs Q&A

1. How can I give my kids something to do at home that brings them joy and learning?

Your kids are home with you every day and it’s too much for each of us alone to come up with fun things for them to do to keep their minds sharp and growing. Good news! We’re online every day with fun coding, arts, game design, 3D design and STEM crafts, not to mention daily challenges that build responsibility, resilience, empathy and a spirit of service. Read more about our Online Inventor’s Club here. Also, check out our Facebook and Instagram for fun activity ideas and our Scratch Skills course for a great intro to coding at home.


2. Do you anticipate any changes to your programming?

Yes. All of our after school programs are now online. We’re having so much fun there every day–please join us for Inventor’s Club Online! Our school holiday camps, Saturday workshops, and Builder Birthday parties are on hold for now. STEM Summer Camp is open for summer and you can register with confidence and with more flexible options (see below). In all cases, we are following the guidelines of the CDC for health and safety and the NYC Department of Education for in-person and online learning. Whether we meet in person or virtually, we maintain our promise that STEM Camp will be among the most joyful and formative experiences of your child’s young life. More information about STEM Camp below. 


3. Do I have the flexibility to make changes to my summer plans?

You may make changes to your camp course choice, dates, and location–at no charge–before your program starts and we will waive our usual $50 fee to changes within 14 days of the start of your physical or virtual STEM Summer Camp week to give you more options.


4. Will STEM Summer Camp be open this summer?

Yes! Our commitment is to hold STEM Camp as we continue to offer you and your budding engineer transformational learning experiences that will help shape their best future. We’ll be there for you no matter what this summer, whether we see you in the room or online. Your kids can still look forward to STEM Summer Camp. We will be there to make sure it’s a joyful learning experience they will never forget. 


5. What if Covid-19 policies remain in place, preventing a physical STEM Camp?

You will be automatically enrolled in Virtual STEM Camp and have access to a generous array of virtual, live, instructor-led activities over the summer (see “How might Virtual STEM Camp be different from regular STEM Camp?” below). You will receive a voucher for the remaining balance for future Virtual STEM Camp 2020 sessions or STEM Camp 2021, which is fully transferable to friends and/or family. We are carefully following city, state and federal guidelines and will adapting to meet those safety requirements.


6. What if my plans change for the summer?

You may alter the week(s) of your registration without penalty pending spots available. Any cancellations made prior to March 31st: Tuition returned, less $50 cancellation fee. Any cancellations made April 1st on will receive a voucher for a future camp date of choice. 


7. How might Virtual STEM Camp be different than regular STEM Camp?

Virtual STEM Camp will bring the best features of MakerState programs that kids and families know and love: play time with friends, live instruction and care from our Maker Fellow instructors from the best universities in NYC, and dreaming, building and inventing tons of fun hands-on projects. We are preparing contingencies that allow kids to attend camp and build online in shorter sessions to minimize screen time but still ensure fellowship with friends and lot’s of creative time. As with previous years of STEM Camp we’ll be building a great mix of hands-on and coding, 3D design, and digital arts projects. We are still committed to:


  • careful mentorship

  • fostering curiosity

  • play-based learning

  • being a good friend and making new friends

  • practicing problem-solving

  • building resilience

  • ensuring continuity

  • learning something new and exciting every day

We’re still formulating our approach to virtual camp as conditions change, and hopefully improve daily, and we will keep you posted. See you at STEM Summer Camp!