NOVA Labs Makerschool

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NOVA Labs makerschool provides an uncommon, innovative approach to twenty-first-century education! It strives toward its vision of creating the global innovators, leaders, and makers of the future by offering authentic learning, play, and experimentation opportunities.

Your children — Kindergarteners through high schoolers — are invited to join them for a maker camp like no other! Whether they’re budding hobbyists, tinkerers, engineers, artisans, or entrepreneurs, NOVA Labs makerschool has a summer opportunity for them.

Check out their 2024 summer camps — choose your interest/age group and start exploring:

Grades K-3

Become an Inventor
July 10-14, 2024 • Grades K-3
An invention class designed for young students, these participants will use their creativity to invent new vehicles, machines, and more. This camp introduces simple machines, gears, and other mechanical concepts to the camper.

Become a Pirate
July 17-21, 2024 • Grades K-3
Arrgh! This camp transforms landlubbers into pirates! Activities include learning to tie knots, creating a foam boat, constructing a cardboard peg leg, and sketching treasure maps, all interspersed with numerous pirate games.

Become a LEGO Master Builder
June 24-28, 2024 • Grades K-3
This camp focuses on LEGO worlds: amusement parks, space exploration, and superhero cities. Children will become master builders and learn basic mechanics with the LEGO BricQ and WeDo sets.

Become a Dragon Tamer
July 1-5, 2024 • Grades K-3
This camp is ideal for the young dreamers in your world. Throughout the week, students will create their own stuffed best friend, a dragon. The camp includes activities like designing dragon-scale armor, sewing monster stuffies, and making pop-up cards. Can your camper tame the dragon? Discover by enrolling in this camp.

Become a Superhero
July 8-12, 2024 • Grades K-3
Campers will delve into the world of superheroes, designing and constructing their own outfits, complete with capes, accessories, and other elements dictated by their imagination. This creative camp will concentrate on developing basic competencies with essential maker techniques, such as cutting, various methods of applying glue, sewing, and more.

Become a Wizard
July 15-19, 2024 • Grades K-3
In this camp, students will discover the intricacies of the wizarding world and learn to craft potions, slimes, and wands. It’ll be a magical week filled with crafting, storytelling, and the fundamentals of chemistry, all seasoned with good old chemistry principles.

Become a Music Maker
July 22-26, 2024 • Grades K-3
Get rhythm! Campers will construct a magnificent cacophony of instruments, including shakers, flutes, ukuleles, tambourines, and whatever else they invent. They’ll turn the volume to 11, and welcome to the MakerSchool of Rock!

Grades 4-6

Space Explorers
June 17-21, 2024 • Grades 4-6
In this camp, students explore all things related to space. Campers will design a space telescope, observe a Mars rover landing, design and 3D print a spaceship, create galaxy paintings, imagine habitats for humans on distant planets, and much more.

STEM Explorers for Girls
June 24-28, 2024 • Grades 4-6
Designed for young girls, the camp offers robotics, coding, 3D printing, and more. Participants will create animal habitats, code robotic animals, use CAD to design cookie cutters and build rocket cars.

Micro-Pets with Micro:Bits
July 1-5, 2024 • Grades 4-6
Campers design, build, and program behaviors for their unique companions in this camp using Micro:Bits. Might a camper return with a pet rock, a new robot dog, or perhaps a robot Kraken? Only they can tell! At the end of the week, each student receives a complimentary Micro:Bit set to continue the programming adventure.

Bridges, Trebuchets, & Castle
July 8-12, 2024 • Grades 4-6
Does their young maker dream of days gone by with castles to defend, rivers to cross, and bridges to raise? This camp blends fantasy with civil engineering as campers construct catapults, trebuchets, bridges, castles, and more. They’ll raise the ramparts and defend the walls!

Elephant Toothpaste & Other Explosions
July 15-19, 2024 • Grades 4-6
Have a blast this summer! Campers will engage in various Mark Rober-inspired experiments and activities, including a test of elephant toothpaste, the Nova Labs Air Rocket build challenge, and mousetrap cars. Anything is possible!

Power Up! Renewable Energy
July 22-26, 2024 • Grades 4-6
Campers will embark on a thrilling journey into sustainable energy! They’ll build solar ovens, design wind turbines, and explore the science behind renewable energy technologies. They’ll learn about solar, wind, hydro, and other renewable sources through experiments, scavenger hunts, and art projects. The week promises exploration, innovation, and environmental stewardship!

Gravity Cars & Gizmos
July 29-Aug 2, 2024 • Grades 4-6
In this camp, children will design, build, and tinker their way through a trio of challenges: the Gravity Car Derby, the famous Nova Labs Egg Drop, and the Robot Racers. It’s an excellent camp for the budding engineer in one’s life!


Ultimate Makers: Rapid Prototyping Lab
June 17-21, 2024 • Ages 12+
Fabrication, laser cutting, soldering, 3D printing, and electronics introduce daily challenges that enhance skills and expand creativity. In their state-of-the-art makerspace, campers innovate under the guidance of expert makers, evolving from curious learners into skilled creators.

Make it Yours: Personalized Merch Lab
June 17-21, 2024 • Ages 13+
Design a unique style and personalize various items! Utilize makerspace tools to customize clothes, bags, hats, and more. Learn 2D graphic design with open-source software and transform designs into reality using laser cutting, vinyl stickers, sublimation, and embroidery. Explore branding, logo development, and graphic design while creating a digital brand portfolio and personalized merchandise.

Woodworking 101
June 24-28, 2024 • Ages 13+
Tailored for junior makers, the camp offers young enthusiasts a chance to discover the wonders of a woodshop in a secure setting. Participants receive hands-on experience with various tools, such as drill presses, scroll saws, drills, hammers, and hand saws. They craft projects to take home and cherish.

Makers’ Movie Magic: Stop-Motion Filmmaking
June 24-28, 2024 • Ages 12+
Students will direct, record, and animate their own stop-motion animation sketches. They will design and build sets using generative AI and traditional tools. Characters will be created and animated within a storyline. This class promotes creativity and self-expression while teaching design, storytelling, digital editing, and animation principles.

Ultimate Makers: Rapid Prototyping Lab
July 1-5, 2024 • Ages 12+
In this camp, teens hone their skills to transform ideas into reality using advanced technology such as digital fabrication, laser cutting, soldering, 3D printing, and electronics. Each day offers challenges that enhance skills and expand creativity. In a state-of-the-art makerspace, participants innovate under the guidance of expert makers, evolving from curious learners to skilled creators.

Cartoons & Comics
July 1-5, 2024 • Ages 12+
Teens will explore the world of cartoons and comics! Campers will ignite their creativity with digital and traditional tools, creating unique cartoons and comics. Under the guidance of experienced artists, they will learn the essentials of composition, line, color, and character development. Additionally, they will discover how to use makerspace tools to convert their creations into various formats, including comic books, zines, buttons, and more.

Woodworking & Metalworking
July 8-12, 2024 • Ages 14+
In this rigorous camp designed for aspiring makers, teens will enhance their skills from 80 to 220 grit. They will explore woodworking and metalworking, mastering the safe, proficient use of equipment to create beautiful, practical objects. Seasoned educator-makers lead this premier camp, offering a comprehensive learning experience for teens eager to perfect their shop skills.

Design Your Style: Fashion Accessories
July 8-12, 2024 • Ages 13+
Campers make a statement on the runway by exploring accessory designs, including hats, bags, and more. They utilize sewing machines, sublimation printing, laser cutting, and other maker tools to design, sew, and personalize their creations. As they master pattern reading and 2D design for laser cutting, they also learn about sustainable fashion and creative reuse, embracing circular design principles. By adding unique twists to classic designs or inventing new trends, campers unleash their creativity.

DIY Synth: Music & Electronics
July 15-19, 2024 • Ages 13+
Teens will learn to transform electricity into sound at the camp by constructing a synthesizer. They will acquire a foundation in electronics and master techniques like soldering and laser cutting. Using a pre-designed kit, they will assemble their synth board and design a custom laser-cut case for their device. By the end of the week, participants will take home their own synthesizer, equipped with the skills to create music.

Artisan Studio: Jewelry, Stained Glass, & More
July 15-19, 2024 • Ages 13+
Nova Labs Studio invites art enthusiasts for a week of artistic exploration. Campers will explore their creativity by crafting metal jewelry, experimenting with resin, mastering stained glass, and more. They will take pride in creating stunning, handmade projects and gain hands-on experience with various tools available at the studio.

Art in Action: Public Art & Murals
July 22-26, 2024 • Ages 13+
Teens will receive instruction from a professional artist experienced in creating public art within the DMV region. They will explore the history and techniques and engage in hands-on sessions to develop woodcutting, painting, and sculpture skills. The camp’s highlight will be a collaborative woodcut and painted mural at Nova Labs, emphasizing teamwork and collaboration. This inspiring adventure in public art is not to be missed!

Makers to Entrepreneurs
July 22-26, 2024 • Ages 14+
The camp is designed for young makers who aspire to launch their ventures. They will dive into entrepreneurship with hands-on activities, brainstorming innovative product ideas, creating prototypes, and mastering design thinking fundamentals. By the end of the week, participants will showcase their creations and present plans for potential businesses, all while gaining practical skills and enjoying the process.

Mixed Media Makers
July 29-Aug 2, 2024 • Ages 12+
This camp is where technology and art intersect! Campers will explore the creative process, crafting accessories and everyday projects. In this one-of-a-kind class, they will experience a unique blend of traditional craftsmanship and cutting-edge technology.

Leather & Lasers
July 29-Aug 2, 2024 • Ages 12+
Campers will explore the creative process, crafting accessories and everyday projects, among other things. In this distinct class, they will experience a unique blend of traditional craftsmanship and cutting-edge technology.

Wheels, Wood, & Metal
Aug 5-9, 2024 • Ages 13+
This camp introduces tools and skills in woodcraft and metalworking. Participants learn to effectively design and build a fully functional scooter from the ground, which they can ride away with at the end.


Introduction to Robotics
June 24-28, 2024 & July 22-26, 2024 • Grades 3-6
Young campers will use LEGO SPIKE kits in this introductory class to learn about robotics engineering design processes. In each session, they’ll define a problem, identify how to fix it, and then design and build a prototype. Through teamwork and cooperation, they’ll test their prototype, gather data, and improve their solution. This camp is an excellent introduction to FIRST robotics principles for next year’s Robotics Season!

Robotics: Competition Ready
July 8-12, 2024 & July 29-Aug 2, 2024 • Grades 3-6
This camp will use LEGO SPIKE kits and education lesson plans to learn about competitive robotics engineering processes. Thanks to sensor input, campers will learn the basics of building and programming robots that accomplish missions autonomously. This camp is an excellent introduction to FIRST robotics principles for next year’s Robotics Season!

Coding Autonomous Drones
July 15-19, 2024 & Aug 5-9, 2024 • Grades 5-12
This summer camp offers an introduction to drone technology and coding. Campers will explore applications of drone technology, understand relevant drone regulations, and learn the basic concepts of manual and coded flight. Campers will solve missions using real-world scenarios by applying problem-solving, teamwork, coding, and drone piloting. Kids will even pilot FPV drones using beginner-friendly block-coding software!


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📌 3850 Jermantown Rd., Fairfax, VA 22030 • Fairfax County

Disclaimer: Events/opportunities are curated from public sources and are subject to changes/cancelations that might not be reflected on