Makerspaces for Kids & Teens in Massachusetts

If you’re looking for ways to introduce STEM to your child or they have a project idea, visiting a makerspace and participating in hands-on activities could open their eyes to a great new experience. What’s a makerspace? It’s a workshop where people can work on projects and make things with shared tools in a shared space. Most makerspaces emphasize hands-on work, creativity, and collaboration, and are supportive of learners. Tools and equipment may include soldering irons, power drills, laser cutters, sewing machines, 3D printers, and sometimes free supplies. Some also offer structured workshops, classes, camps and activities created just for kids—a great way to ease them into the experience if they’re used to a more structured environment.
teen boys solders wires to build a robot

Finding Makerspaces and Activities

Here are some ideas on where to find a makerspace in your community. Visit an organization’s website to learn more and get specific details about programs, costs, and hours of operation.

  • Freestanding Makerspaces: I have compiled a list in the next section that includes a blend of non-profit and for-profit makerspaces that welcome kids. And it’s not only about building: one Boston-area makerspace has ham radio and space science courses, while another offers board game design.
  • Libraries: See if your library or surrounding libraries have makerspaces. These facilities are typically free for patrons to use, and many have open lab hours when you can come in and use the equipment! Here are a few examples in Massachusetts: Springfield City Library, Goodnow Library, and Peabody Institute Library.
  • Museums: Children’s and science museums are also great places to find hands-on STEAM activities. Consider the Boston Children’s Museum, Children’s Museum Easton, Discovery Museum in Acton, and many of the science museums in Massachusetts
  • Maker Camp: Maker Camp on Make Community is a free online program providing resources (project ideas & step-by-step instructions, inspiration, materials, and community) to summer camp leaders and young makers interested in DIY, making, creating, crafting, hacking, tinkering, and learning. Visit the FAQ page to learn how to find a maker camp near you or get information about hosting a camp yourself. Families and neighborhood groups are welcome to start their own camp!

Makerspaces for Kids in Massachusetts

The list below includes freestanding makerspaces that welcome kids and/or have student-specific programs and activities. 

OrganizationLocationAboutYouth Programming
Artisan’s AsylumAllston-BrightonArtisan’s Asylum is a 52,000 square foot community wonderland. Their mission as an inclusive, not-for-profit community workshop is to advance the learning, practice and culture of do-it yourself (“DIY”) fabrication. Artisan’s Asylum is ready for the next generation of creative thinkers to join their teen programs. Offering virtual and hands-on experiences guided by engineers and fabrication experts, teens will learn and apply electronic, engineering, 3D modeling, art, and/or construction skills.
Guild Hall – Educational MakerspaceCambridge & WoburnGuild Hall is an educational focused makerspace focused on helping teens discover their passion for making in anything from VR, game dev, robotics, custom furniture, illustration, design, and more! They have a full shop equipped with the latest professional tools, guided by knowledgeable, passionate teachers and mentors to help students grow in any area they choose.At Guild Hall young learners explore coding, robotics, art, and more using professional tools in an educational focused makerspace environment. Children and teens learn to solve problems, express themselves, and create their vision using the latest technologies from VR to 3D Printing, Robotics to 3D Design, and much more.
HATCHWatertownHATCH is an entirely free public makerspace run by the Watertown Free Public Library. The workshop provides space, tools, equipment and materials and offers open hours (no appointment needed) and classes for older children and adults (pre-registration required).Activities include robotics, crafts, 3D modeling, Arduino, sewing and more.
Make-It SpringfieldSpringfieldMake-It Springfield provides space, tools, and vision, especially for low- and moderate-income individuals and families, to explore and work on creative projects. Make-It Springfield provides a multicultural home that invites creativity, invention, and artistic experimentation through dialogue, collaboration, and the sharing of skills and ideas.They offer workshops, support for creatives, and special programs for all ages.
New England Sci-TechNatickNew England Sci-Tech is a non-profit STEM+ education center and makerspace dedicated to project-based, hands-on learning for youth and families across the New England community.Offerings include space science, rocketry, ham radio, electronics, robotics, photography, astronomy, coding, computers, 3D design, woodworking, leather craft, and more. Programming includes Scouts, homeschool, public telescope nights, birthday parties, and Youth Inventors Workshop.
Parts and CraftsSomervilleParts and Crafts is a 501(c)3 educational nonprofit that focuses on child-directed, hands-on STEM/STEAM learning through making, doing, and taking things apart! Students also play games, write stories, and run around outside.The organization runs summer & vacation camps, a homeschool resource center and afterschool program for kids aged 7-13.
TechnocopiaWorcesterTechnocopia is a non-profit makerspace offering common workspace, rental bays, and a variety of tools for artisans to create and work with. Family memberships and some tools are accessible to teens (13+) provided they are accompanied by someone over 18. These include glass flameworking, 3D printing, vinyl cutter, and textiles shops.
TinkerhausNewburyportTinkerhaus Community Makerspace is a non-profit, all ages makerspace.Tinkerhaus has a woodworking shop, a mini fablab, an art classroom, a sewing studio, a mini-makers space, outdoor programs, after school art classes and summer weeklong classes.

Editor’s Note: Originally published in May 201

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Cyndi Reitmeyer, BostonTechMom

Cyndi Reitmeyer is BostonTechMom’s founder and the person behind the articles and program listings. Her blog explores topics related to raising children who are comfortable, competent, capable, and confident around science, technology, engineering, and math—whether they’re headed for a STEM career or not.

A business professional for tech startups and the mother of two girls, Cyndi is committed to helping parents help their kids explore STEM from a young age. She searches for a spectrum of STEM opportunities that are hands-on, creative, and inclusive, and most important, FUN!

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