Guiding Principles

To support creative learning and making experiences, we suggest four guiding principles. These principles grew out of research by the Lifelong Kindergarten group at the MIT Media Lab, and they form the core of the learning model.

Principle 1: Support Learning Through Design Experiences.

As young people work on projects, they can be seen as engaging in a design process, which we call a “creative learning spiral” (see the following image). In this process, they imagine what they want to do, create a project based on their ideas, play with alternatives, share their ideas and creations with others, and reflect on their experiences— all of which lead them to imagine new ideas and new projects.

Principle 2: Help Youth Build Their Interests.

When young people care about what they are working on, they are willing to work longer and harder, and they learn more in the process.

Principle 3: Develop A Sense Of Community.

Develop a learning community in which youth share ideas and work together on projects. Facilitators play an important role not just in supporting youth, but also by modeling the process of making and learning themselves

Principle 4: Foster An Environment Of Respect + Trust

Young people are treated with trust and respect—and are expected to treat others the same way. Facilitators strive to create an environment in which participants feel safe to experiment, explore, and innovate.

Learn More

To learn more about these principles, we suggest you read Start Making! (PDF | Print | Free if you join the newsletter) or the paper, “Origins and guiding principles of the Computer Clubhouse” by Natalie Rusk, Mitchel Resnick, Stina Cooke.

Guiding Principles

Guiding Principles

To support creative learning and making experiences, we suggest four guiding principles. These principles grew out of research by the Lifelong Kindergarten group at the MIT Media Lab, and they form the core of the learning model.

Principle 1: Support Learning Through Design Experiences.

As young people work on projects, they can be seen as engaging in a design process, which we call a “creative learning spiral” (see the following image). In this process, they imagine what they want to do, create a project based on their ideas, play with alternatives, share their ideas and creations with others, and reflect on their experiences— all of which lead them to imagine new ideas and new projects.

Principle 2: Help Youth Build Their Interests.

When young people care about what they are working on, they are willing to work longer and harder, and they learn more in the process.

Principle 3: Develop A Sense Of Community.

Develop a learning community in which youth share ideas and work together on projects. Facilitators play an important role not just in supporting youth, but also by modeling the process of making and learning themselves

Principle 4: Foster An Environment Of Respect + Trust

Young people are treated with trust and respect—and are expected to treat others the same way. Facilitators strive to create an environment in which participants feel safe to experiment, explore, and innovate.

Learn More

To learn more about these principles, we suggest you read Start Making! (PDF | Print | Free if you join the newsletter) or the paper, “Origins and guiding principles of the Computer Clubhouse” by Natalie Rusk, Mitchel Resnick, Stina Cooke.

Please Note

Your safety is your own responsibility, including proper use of equipment and safety gear, and determining whether you have adequate skill and experience. Power tools, electricity, and other resources used for these projects are dangerous, unless used properly and with adequate precautions, including safety gear and adult supervision. Some illustrative photos do not depict safety precautions or equipment, in order to show the project steps more clearly. Use of the instructions and suggestions found in Maker Camp is at your own risk. Maker Media, Inc., disclaims all responsibility for any resulting damage, injury, or expense.