While VIVISTOP is a maker space for children, the toolset here is fully professional. We don’t want to wrap the kids in bubble plastic to keep them safe, neither do we want the tools to collect dust on shelves. Everything here is meant to be used. We use metal saws, drills, laser cutters, soldering tools, and sewing machines.

To introduce kids to even more machinery, that we cannot fit into our own space, we partnered up with Merkuur, the mobile workshop start-up, to introduce to kids real wood and metalworking machines but also electronic components. Exactly the same ones, that are being used by the industry.

Learning happens by doing. It would be quite difficult to guess how to use a tool if we only stare at it. Merkuur showed the kids how simple objects could be made by ourselves. In the course of 6 workshops, children could make their wall clocks, flashlights, metal flash drive, fish lures and Christmas tree with LED lights.

Wood Excites

From wooden sheets, children cut out their own preferable shape to make wall clocks. Electronic components were added and creating decorations started — all the Mickeys were given life. Kids learned how to use electronic saws and wood burner tool!

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Laser Engraving ABC

In pairs, the children were able to control the laser cutter machine. Using software they were able to draw different characters or write cute messages. Later they could see how the machine was transforming their images into engravings. They could even set up their own machines. Kids learned how to engrave objects on wood!

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Metal Shines & Vibrates

On this October Saturday, two workshops were held. During the first one, the children could make a metal flash drive and in the second one, a metal fish lure. As it was in October and it was relatively warm, the workshop was held outside in Merkuur’s own tech truck. Kids learned to use the drill and an engraving machine to engrave their own name initials or some symbols on a metal plate.

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Light Full of Knowledge

Every kid received her own soldering kit and the electronic components to make flashlights. Using written instructions they were able to put together the components. This process involved a lot of soldering — this became the most challenging part of the process. In the end, the flashlights were turned into cute animals with eyes and colorful fur. Kids learned how to use soldering tools and how to be careful with heath!

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Wood Shines

This time kids were given wooden sheets to cut out their Christmas tree by using a jigsaw. After sawing out the trees, they were able to add LED light to their outcoming decorations. They could burn different characters on the wood — from birds to snowflakes. Kids learned to use a jigsaw, a wood burner tool and a soldering machine!

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During these workshops, the room was filled with dust and smoke. It felt like being part of a real factory! Children got to experience the production of everyday objects and to have an actual outcome of something made by themselves. What a memorable moment! We’re looking forward to more workshops with the mobile workshop startup Merkuur :)

Written by

Kids and Youth Creativity Accelerator

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