Category Archives: Toy Hacking

2014 was a STEAM-Y year for Vermont!

In summer 2014 the pilot program Vermont Librarians and Makers Spark a Culture of Innovation produced 28 STEAM programs across the State of Vermont thanks to funding by the Vermont Community Foundation and UVM’s College of Engineering and Mathematical Sciences. The curriculum was designed by Vermont Makers, Champlain Maker Faire provided exhibition space and library participation was organized by the Vermont Department of Libraries. Here’s a glimpse at the program’s success by the numbers…download the pdf version of this report here.

STEAM Vermont Programs

2014 was a STEAM-Y Year for Vermont!
As reported by….

Vermont Public Radio:
Making it

The “maker movement” is taking hold in Vermont. That’s a somewhat odd name that captures technology, design, innovation and a strong DIY spirit. On this Vermont Edition, we talk about how communities of “makers” are using high-tech tools to solve problems, create art and start a conversation about technology in our lives. Our guests are Jenn Karson of Vermont Makers and Doug Webster of the Champlain Mini-Maker Faire.

WCAX and Across the Fence: ‪
VT Makers & Librarians showcase STEAM on Across The Fence

New England Cable Network:
Making the grade: Innovative approach to STEM Teaching

More about Spark a Culture STEAM modules and program partners can be found here

Thank you to everyone who participated and supported these programs! We certainly did “Spark a Culture of Innovation” in Vermont in 2014.

Partners on the grant included Vermont Makers, UVM College of Engineering and Mathematical Sciences, Champlain Maker FaireCraftsbury Public Library, Vermont Public Library Foundation, The Vermont State Department of Libraries, and the Vermont Library Association. The stats in this document are provided by Vermont Makers.

A Maker Glossary for Vermont Afterschool Conference 2014

Getting creative with Squishy Circuits: Alien Lady Gaga

Getting creative with Squishy Circuits: Alien Lady Gag

Enjoy this “Maker Glossary”  created for educators participating in Make, Create, Hack + Engineer at this year’s Vermont Afterschool Conference

You are welcome to use this glossary on your own website. If you do, please credit and link back to us. Thanks!

STEAMy Stuff! Make, Create, Hack + Engineer
Jenn Karson, Vermont Engineering Initiative + Vermont Makers
A daylong immersion in hands-on STEAM activities with time for reflection and explorations in design thinking for educators and staff working with youth grades 4-12.


  • STEM: Science, Technology, Engineering + Math
  • STEAM: Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts + Math
  • Maker: People of all ages who make things!

Vermont Makers STEAM Modules
(Developed in 2014 with support from  Vermont Libraries and Makers Spark a Culture of Innovation, a program funded by the Vermont Community Foundation and the University of Vermont).

Communities and places for Maker and STEAM education

  • What is a Fab Lab?
  •  U of Vermont Fab Lab
  • Vermont Engineering Initiative
  • Vermont Makers
  • Champlain Maker Faire (fall event + summer camp)
  • What is a Hackerspace / Makerspace?
  • Generator – a Maker Space in Burlington, VT
  • Champlain College Maker Lab

Newsletters and Documents:

  • Design Thinking for Educators
  • Design Thinking handout
  • Design Thinking banner for classrooms


  • Electrical Circuit
  • Voltage, Current, Resistance and Ohms Law
  • Printed Circuit  Board (PCB)
  • Conductive
  • LED

 Tools you might find in  Fab Lab, Hacker Space or Maker Space:

  • 3D  Printer
  • Laser Cutter
  • Laser Scanner
  • CNC Milling Machine
  • Digital Embroidery Machine