Thanks to iD Tech, the world's #1 summer STEM program for ages 7-19, for sponsoring this guide to afterschool maker classes for kids.
Does your child love to invent, tinker, and build with whatever materials are on hand? There are spaces dedicated to inspiring innovation. Afterschool and weekend activities for young makers are popping up all over the East Bay.
East Bay maker classes for kids
Sticky Art Lab (Berkeley)
This afterschool program provides kids with access to all the low-tech creative materials they could want and the time to explore. With bus service from a handful of Berkeley elementary schools, Sticky Art Lab can substitute care for K-5 kids any day Monday-Friday from 2:30 to 5:30. Weekends offer drop-in lab time.
1682 University Avenue, Berkeley
Junior Center for Art and Science (Oakland)
Classes and workshops are session-based for students ages 5-17 and run about eight weeks long depending on the time of year. Dedicated to equity, Junior Center offers sliding scale tuition.
Lakeside Park, 558 Bellevue Avenue, Oakland
Girls Garage (Berkeley)
Offering summer camp, afterschool classes, and Saturday workshops, Girls Garage provides kids who identify as female with the opportunity to use real tools to create. Woodworking, welding, bike repair, and more are some of the activities offered there for 9-17-year olds.
1380 Tenth Street, Berkeley
The Crucible (Oakland)
For kids 8-17, The Crucible offers an array of afterschool classes, weekend classes, and camps with specialty focuses, such as blacksmithing, flameworking, welding, and jewelry making.
1260 7th St, Oakland
Kids Carpentry (Albany)
Offered through Albany Parks & Rec department, kids ages 5-12 will learn woodworking tools, safety, and craftsmanship as they make clocks, dollhouses, trucks, or birdfeeders. Sessions begin seasonally.
1249 Marin Ave, Albany
During 2-hour afterschool sessions, HANDS-ON! provides kids (K-5) with the opportunity to invent, create and discover through guided instruction as well as free exploration in a small group (8 children max). Activities include the science of slime, the science of bubbles, chemistry experiments, color exploration, robotics, potion-making, engineering and more! Located near many BUSD bus stops, pick up at these stops is available (Tuesday-Friday 2-5:30).
1411 MLK Way, Berkeley
Adventure Playground (Berkeley)
Weekends only, from 11 am to 4 pm, children can visit Adventure Playground near the Berkeley marina and work or play, their choice in an environment filled with hand-built structures. Access to tools is earned though small tasks. During the summer, older children can be dropped off on weekdays. Run by Berkeley Parks and Rec.
Berkeley Waterfront, 201 University Ave
Summer camp opportunity for maker kids
iD Tech (Berkeley)
One-week and two-week sessions over the summer allow students ages 7-19 to be fully immersed in the world of creating as they take classes at UC Berkeley. iD Tech offers a variety of camps: 3D Printing and Modeling; Robotics and Visual Programming; Build and Code Your Own Take-Home Laptop; and many programming languages. Day camp and overnight camp are both available.
Berkeley location: UC Berkeley
iD Tech also runs summer camps in Moraga and Concord as well as more than 150 other locations around the world!