Bit Space is Chicagoland’s premier maker lab for kids and teens - a place where they can learn to use real tools to build real things. Students work with our guides to learn how to use hand tools, power tools, electronics, robotics, 3d printers, laser cutters, CNC milling machines, computer modeling and design software, computer game development software, virtual reality, and new media to design and build just about anything. We try to live up to our goal of inspiring and guiding the next generation of inventors, entrepreneurs, and problem solvers by teaching kids and teens to be producers rather than consumers of technology. Our guides are experts from the fields of architecture, design, engineering, and computer programming.
Summer camp at Bit Space is week-long, project-based learning for kids and teens. Each week, we introduce a set of tools, techniques, software, and materials to three age groups. Using the week's theme as a starting point, campers work individually, in small groups, or as a team to create something that explores, expresses, and expands upon their skills and creativity, and culminates in an exhibition of their work on Friday.
Our camps are one-week camps (Monday-Friday / 9:00 am-4:00 pm). The focus is on fun and skill building--we have a unique theme each week, campers have free construction time each day in addition to themed projects, campers get to bring home what they make, and parents are invited to end-of-week presentations.
Campers are separated into groups by age, allowing our guides to equip them with tools, technologies, and techniques in a structured environment appropriate to their developmental level. Each week provides a theme that unites the imaginations of all of our campers, yet each age division will engage with that theme in different ways. All levels emphasize learning-through-doing in a social environment. Campers work on projects that bridge the physical and digital world and end with an exhibit of their work each Friday.
6-9 year olds: Our youngest campers learn to safely and effectively use basic hand tools and power tools in our woodshop, become familiar with 2D design software and laser cutting, and integrate basic circuitry and motors into their projects. Campers create individual projects in a group setting.
9-12 year olds: Our intermediate campers take the next step in their “making” journey by being introduced to programmable electronics (Arduino), 3D modeling software (Blender), 3D printing, video game development (Unity 3D), and video & sound editing software. Campers work in small groups and collaborate to re-imagine “The Cube” every week.
12+ year olds: Our campers entering their junior high and high school years will determine how they will engage with the week’s theme and choose where and how they will make their contribution to Friday’s exhibition. There are very few restrictions as to which tools and technologies they can use. Higher level craftsmanship in physical construction, virtual reality technology, new media, and real coding skills are all on the table. These campers are paired with our most experienced maker-educators to maximize their potential.
Bit Space-Lincoln Square
2541 W. Lawrence Ave.
Chicago, IL 60625
1131 Greenleaf Ave.
Wilmette, IL 60091
Bit Space-West Loop [Only for Summer Camp]
Whitney Young High School
211 S. Laflin St.
Chicago, IL 60607