EXPLO Maker - EXPLO

EXPLO Maker

A 2-week career exploration program for students entering grades 6-7 interested in engineering on the campus of Wheaton College.

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Tinkerer. Maker. Builder. Shaper. We all use things everyday. But how much thought have you put into how those things actually work, and what exactly goes into making them work? Welcome to EXPLO Maker, where you’ll innovate, design, build, create, construct, test, redesign, rebuild, and retest projects that will inspire and challenge you. You’ve got ideas — we’ll give you the tools and techniques to help you turn those ideas into reality.

At EXPLO Maker you will:

  • Challenge Yourself: Ideate solutions, overcome obstacles, and find workarounds to even the most dastardly daily challenge.
  • Engineer Amazing Projects: With each new challenge comes your chance to design and build something truly incredible.
  • Think Independently: Cultivate imaginative thinking to come up with novel solutions to problems and bring your ideas to life.
  • Decorate: Make it your own — add a personal touch to your projects with paint, glitter, googly eyes, or designs from a Cricut machine. Making at EXPLO is serious business, and serious fun!
  • Brainstorm Inventive Solutions: Create, test, design, and tinker with your project until you reach a workable prototype.
  • Experiment: Discover how to use new tools and technologies and explore how you can use them in uncharted ways.
  • Work with Pros: Learn from creative, passionate teachers in the innovation lab, who will guide you through the process of creating and testing out different project solutions.
  • Collaborate: Work with teammates. Share ideas, concepts, projects, and possible solutions to some of the trickiest project issues with your peers.
  • Hone 21st Century Skills: Resilience. Grit. Patience. Empathy. Flexibility. Playfulness. Build these skills as you articulate and synthesize ideas, analyze problems, make decisions, and prioritize solutions.

Consider this your big break: a Makerspace filled with simple and sophisticated tools — from a drill press to digital design software — and the guidance of knowledgeable instructors who will guide you as you learn in an environment where your safety comes first. Come think beyond a traditional toolbox, as you integrate tools like sewing machines, soldering irons, computers, 3D printers and more. You’ll become the resident expert on a particular tool or skill, and working with your fellow makers, you’ll learn how to collaborate and incorporate new skills and ideas into your projects.

Become a Maker

We won’t tell you exactly how to solve the challenges you’ve been given. Perhaps you’ll build a model smart house, design a shirt that tracks your heart rate, or create an interactive way to make waiting in long theme park lines the best part of the day. Or maybe something completely different. No matter what you are challenged with, it will be exciting to build — and will help you develop new skills (and new confidence) as you embrace the Maker spirit.


At EXPLO Maker, you’ll discover that failure is really just the first attempt at learning. On every project, you’ll face bumps along the way. You won’t get it right the first, second, or maybe even the tenth time. With each new iteration, you’ll test, tinker, redesign, rebuild, and try again, so that when you get to your final solution, you’ll have a deeper understanding of how it works (and how you might be able to make it better).

Why EXPLO Maker?

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