For the second attempt, the 6-year-old boy decided to double the power, jumping with both his green-soled tennis shoes onto an empty soda bottle. That sent a blast of air through a bike inner tube connected to a plastic pipe "launcher," and Ion squealed delightedly as the paper craft shot more than 20 feet across the room.
Maker Media officials say the virtual camps engage young peoples' brains and encourage them to explore through making.
"You learn more by doing something than by reading about it," said
Maker Camp takes place on the Google Plus social network, so "campers" must be at least 13 years old or they must sign on using their parents' accounts. This summer's six weekly themes are motion, art and design, fun and games, science and technology, DIY music and "make: believe."
Monday's launch included an interview with former astronaut
"And then we blast off and we send it a million miles away from Earth, and then it opens up like a Transformer robot," the spokesman told viewers, adding that the telescope would be used to study "the origin of the universe."
The program's virtual field trips each Friday will take viewers to
The camp fits with the ethos of the maker movement that places value in the act of making.
"You have an artifact," Henricks said, in Monday's case a paper rocket. A child can make something and say, "I did that."
While viewers can get started on their own at makercamp.com, more than 350 affiliate groups are using materials to engage youth. The groups include Boy and Girls clubs, public libraries and school programs. Maker Media is still accepting new groups and offering to send them roughly
The program occurs live each day at
After making their rockets, the children Monday went outside Maker Media's offices and launched them. Some of the paper creations shot farther than the height of two street lights; others traveled a distance of more than 40 yards.
Riley said he came Monday "to have fun." But his mother,
"The TV is never on," she said. "There's too many things to make."
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