The inspiration of HelloMaker dates back to when Elsa was in elementary grade. Her school opened a tinker lab and Elsa fell in love with hands-on creating and learning. In middle school, she continued to stay involved by volunteering there as a teacher assistant.
During the summer of 2020, the struggles and inequalities of Covid inspired Elsa to share her passion for making to help students feel less isolated and passive. With the aim to develop an accessible virtual maker community, HelloMaker was born. HelloMaker has grown to an organization led by a team of ten motivated and enthusiastic students ages 14 to 18 years old.
HelloMaker started in the summer of 2020 as a way to share the team’s love for creating with our community.
For us, HelloMaker has been our own maker project that has undergone phases of trial and error. Starting as youtube videos that we later developed into a Learning Management System, we experimented and observed what our community needed. When we got feedback that an LMS didn’t engage our target audience, we pivoted to host live virtual workshops. During the lockdown, we were well received by families. Yet as San Francisco opened in the summer of 2021 interest in virtual workshops lessened. A new demand for in-person activities encouraged the team to test in-person workshops at Salesforce park and Creative Communal. The in-person workshops being a huge success, we collaborated with SCRAP to bring in-person workshops to community hubs around San Francisco. Our team reflected that 1h workshops didn’t provide a lot of time to delve deep into concepts with attendees. Therefore we were ecstatic to develop and lead a youth summer program– Maker Camp– for Celsius and Beyond where half of the students come from public schools.
As of this moment, HelloMaker is working with Celsius and Beyond to run an after-school program for public school students during the school year.