SUMMER CAMPS

Our technology and arts-based summer camps excite young minds and prepare them for a future of creative and collaborative work and play. Staff are committed to helping each camper reach their potential, and most importantly, have fun.

2021 Summer Camp Status: Pending (as of 3/31/21)

Update 3/31/21

The University has released Phase 4 Guidelines for Summer Camps. We’re looking into the requirements we will need to meet in person and hope to soon let you all know our decision on hosting camps this summer. As Covid-19 continues to be a threat, we want to make sure we are doing everything we can to keep our campers, lab visitors, and staff safe.

One of the guidelines to be mindful of is that campers will be required to show proof of a negative PCR COVID-19 test result the day they arrive AND (as our camps typically run longer than three days) another negative result later in the week. 

Pick Up / Drop Off

Please drop off and pick up your camper promptly. Morning camps start at 9am and end at noon. Afternoon camps start at 1pm and end at 4pm. Instructors and campers get excited about starting the day and digging into projects. If you know you will be late for any reason please call the lab at 217-265-5342.

Before and after care options are available at registration.

Before care: 8am-9am, $30/week
After care: 4pm-5:15pm, $25/week

Refund Policy

Cancellation up to 30 days before start date – Full refund minus a $10 service fee
Cancellation up to 7 days before start date – 50% refund
Cancellation after 7 days before start date – No refund

If you would like to cancel or get a refund contact communityfablab@gmail.com.

Still Have Camp Questions?
Ask Here.

Frequently Asked Questions

Each camp allows 12-15 campers. There will always be 2 instructors per camp and select camps will also have an intern for extra support.

If your child is staying the full day for camp activities, they will need to bring a packed lunch to eat at the lab or they may be picked up between camps (noon and 1pm).

It’s OK, life happens. Please email the Fab Lab to let instructors know. We’d also like to know if you have to leave early for any appointments.

Most of our camps and workshops require some computer skills. If you would like to make sure your child is ready, check out our guidelines.

If you would like to sign up your child for a camp, but he or she isn’t old enough yet, an exception might be possible. This is at the instructor’s discretion and your child may be required to come to the lab to demonstrate proficiency.

Playing no, learning to use tools in the lab responsibly, yes!

Need-based scholarships are available. Please feel free to contact us for more information.

After you register, you will receive an automated confirmation email. If you do not receive an email, please contact us to make sure we know you are coming.

Each week an email will go out to families registered and Camp leads will be listed. And you can also reach out to the Fab Lab at communityfablab@gmail.com if you have more questions

Camps will have a 10-15 min snack/recess break during each session.

Check out the tutorial gateway to learn about our tools and projects. If you have additional questions about specific camps, please feel free to email us with questions.

Campers with severe food allergies are strongly encouraged to bring their own snack, and let staff know. We do our best to keep snacks allergy friendly but cannot guarantee cross contamination will not happen.

Fab Lab camps introduce learners to powerful software and tools designed for creating. We encourage campers to explore the process of design while learning practical skills, from sewing to coding. Participants leave camp with skills they are eager to share and we encourage families to return during open hours to continue learning, exploring, and making. We also believe that engaging in learning experiences like those offered at the Fab Lab help participants to develop critical metacognitive learning strategies, such as patience, persistence and planning that will enable them to thrive and succeed in a variety of environments in the future. Practices such as iteration, playful experimentation, self-compassion, collaboration and leveraging information resources are as much an important outcome as skills with any given tool or software. If you are interested in metacognitive learning you may wish read about our research on learning with the NSF-funded MAPLE project.

In addition to the experience of making really cool things on 3D printers, digital embroidery machines and more, all camps include some take-home creations. If your child is in a textile camp, for example, he or she will be bringing home the items sewn during the week. Campers enrolled in camps where the creation is digital will take home a file that they can share. Podcasters will bring home an audio file, RPG makers will bring home a game file that they can play at home, and so on. Some camp take-homes may rely on how much time and effort participants put into the process.

Philosophy and Learning Processes

All of our camps are designed to help participants come up with new ideas, solve problems, and make things. We strive to create an environment where design thinking flourishes, meaning that campers (and patrons) usually learn through the iteration of prototypes made using our tools. Practically, this means trying things, sometimes failing, returning to the design, and trying again. We believe that this approach encourages campers to cultivate creative thinking and determination in addition to exposing them to new technologies.

Our camps are also designed to inspire the development of cross disciplinary skills. A camper learning about art in video game design will come away from the experience having learned about creating digital art, video game logic, and storytelling. Campers learning to sew are also learning about digital design through digital embroidery and are gaining spatial skills through the geometry fundamental to sewing.

Last, we believe that campers across all of our camps experience immense satisfaction in seeing things from their imagination brought to life, whether it is a 3D print from a Minecraft model they built or an animated video they created. Campers love hands-on learning and take great pride in what they create.