It's an opportunity to get comfy, hang with old friends, meet some new ones, and learn how to do something from an artist, maker, or technologist from your community. The emphasis is on casual, but there are also opportunities to dive deep into the activity if you're really connecting with it.
Youth Maker Nights are an example of how we tailor our approach for pre-teens. They happen once a month on Fridays, and that Friday vibe is perfect for relaxing and experimenting with a new skill while enjoying a slice of pizza. Every month has a different theme (we often match Youth Maker Night themes with what's going on in our Gallery Shows).
<aside> 🤹🏾 Heard of HOMAGO? We based Youth Maker Nights on Mimi Ito's Hanging Out, Messing Around, and Geeking Out framework. More on this in the Pedagogy section below.
Pre-teens need more places where they can have fun, be safe, and make things! You can provide one of those places, and help the budding makers, artists, and innovators in your neighborhood find their passions and up their skills.
Plus, when they're properly promoted, Youth Maker Nights can be a big draw! They can help you reach new kids who might be interested in your other programs, too.
Friday nights from 5pm to 7pm
5-25 young people
Pre-teens and younger teens! Usually ages 10 to 14, and sometimes 15
Register ahead for free! No experience required, just bring yourself and your excitement for learning (and an appetite for pizza)
<aside> 🕑 Run of show for one Youth Maker Night: Assemble's Youth Maker Nights happen every second Friday of the month
20 minutes Casual hangout time as the pre-teens arrive
10 minutes Round of icebreakers, introduction of the guest expert and topic
35 minutes Making time! Guest expert leads the activity
10 minutes Snack and pizza break!
25 minutes More making and hanging out
10 minutes Discussion and sharing out
10 minutes Cleaning up (everybody helps)
We based Youth Maker Nights on the idea of Mizuko (“Mimi”) Ito and her colleagues' HOMAGO framework. Ito and her colleagues did an ethnographic study of over 700 young people. From interviews, they identified three types of learning activity that young people engage in when they use digital media:
They Hang Out with friends in social spaces, like Instagram and TikTok.
They Mess Around or tinker with digital media, like recording short videos, posting memes, and playing games online.
They Geek Out in online groups where they can explore their core interests and go deeper.