Being a Maker doesn’t mean you know how to make everything you want to. It means you Want to make! Most makers we know have a backlog of skills they want to learn. We absolutely enjoy learning things on our own. But, sometimes we need a boost up on the learning curve. Other times, we simply need an inspirational kick start.

Need to learn how?

Need some project inspiration?

Then, consider one of the workshops or classes.

Most classes and workshops are free for M&M members. Find out when your class is coming up on the Mentors & Makers Schedule page.

eventbrite_logo_gradient_v2 Register for workshops, events, and evening classes (4-session and single session) through our Eventbrite portal
Click Here to Register Online Register for Summer Camps and Extended Classes via our Jackrabbit portal

Here’s an idea of what to expect from some of the current classes.

Creative Cardboard Kids20160701_123747
There are several different classes and workshops that we lump under this title. As a workshop, we’ll have some project theme to direct the creativity. Themes like Caine’s Arcade, Amazing Animals, or Awesome Architects. In a workshop, we’ll teach at least one technique that kids can deploy, hone, and add to their toolbox for future use. A class will generally span several sessions. Multi-session classes give us an opportunity to learn so much more. Kids pick up more techniques and are introduced to more tools. The extended interaction gives mentors more time to get to know the kids as well. We always have fun with cardboard…Even if we’re working on an individual project, having friends around adds new dimensions.

Fusion 360 CAD/CAM
This is an amazing piece of software. Fusion 360 will empower you to create complex 3D models for 3D printing and CNC routing. It’s a great design tool as well including animation, simulation, and drawing modules. However, the learning curve can be rather steep. The Fusion 360 class is a 4-session overview of the software and will introduce you to your new favorite hobby. Don’t think this is an age-exclusive tool. Old makers really can learn new tricks. And, the kids? They can certainly handle CAD at a younger age than most educators think given a patient mentor. However, The class is fairly fast pace. So, it is most appropriate for makers and mature kids Ages 9+.

Basic Electronics and Microcontrollers
This area is often one that really challenges novice makers. The Electronics and Microcontroller universe of knowledge is HUGE. It can be very intimidating to get started. A lot of tech providers leverage this as an opportunity to put a high premium on starter kits. This 4-session class will give you firm footing to start your climb. You’ll finish with a firm grasp of the vocabulary and basic concepts. With your first project under your belt, you’ll have the confidence to tackle that tech-project that you’ve been drooling over.

Introduction to 3D Printingthumb-print
From the outside, 3D printing can look like an exclusive club. Those who are in the know often talk way above the laymen’s head. This workshop will save you a ton of independent research. Though we have offered this as a multi-session class for kids, it is generally a 90 minute workshop. In it, you’ll lear
n about the different 3D printing technologies. You’ll understand the theory of operation and the typical components in the most common printers. We’ll talk about the most common materials, their properties, and their limits. We’ll dispel a lot of myths. You’ll leave with an appetite for 3D printing and enough knowledge to plan a healthy diet.

PROS Programming (for Vex and Arduino)
This 4-session class is perfect for anyone starting off in robotics. But, it is not limited to any particular type of “robots.” If you envision any project with electrical motors and a micro-controller, then this is where you’ll start. The Purdue Robotics Operating System is an open source solution to barriers that students commonly encounter. There’s no need to frustrate yourself investigating all the alternatives. We’ll get you up to speed on this free software and walk you through your first project. Again, kids can handle programming at younger ages than you might think. However, The class is fairly fast pace. So, it is most appropriate for makers and mature kids Ages 11+.

Leatherworkingthumb-leather
There are innumerable uses for leather. Just about every use has evolved special techniques and jigs. However, there are some fundamental techniques that can be broadly applied. Our leather workshops typically last 90 minutes. In each workshop, you’ll get introduced to a new tool or technique. You’ll leave with a project that leverages the technique. But, more importantly, you’ll leave with a whole new art-form to explore. Examples of past workshops include leather roses, stamping, bracelets, and basic tooling. You’ll be amazed at how quickly you can begin to make beautiful
creations.

 

Classes and Workshops on the Horizon

Fusion 360 Complex Forms and Smooth CNC Surfacing 

Basic Woodworking Class20160715_102235

Table Saw Workshop

Introduction to Lathe Workshop

Basic Welding

 

 

 

 

I'm the manager of Mentors & Makers. That's not the most important thing about me, but the first concern that most visitors to this website have. Though I have a Ph.D in mechanical engineering, I don't fit well within many of the related stereotypes. I'm passionate about people, education, creativity, and God...not in any particular order. Mentors & Makers evolved from my long time investment in technology-based youth-mentoring programs. Specifically, I'm president of Brazos Robotics. Over the last two decades, we've experimented with a lot of programs, variations, and implementations. Mentors & Makers is the latest attempt to increase the impact that our investments have on the next generation.