A family at the Family Tinkering Lab
Jan 13, 2021

Family Tinkering Lab: a space to create, build, and play together

One of the Y’s newest offerings, the Family Tinkering Lab, provides a dynamic, innovative space for your whole family to strengthen their minds, curiosities, and STEAM skills. As this program begins to roll out across our Association’s centers (including your local Y!), learn more about the program by reading this Q&A with Ed Heiser, Executive Director at the Buehler YMCA:

What is the Family Tinkering Lab?

The Family Tinkering Lab is a new program offered by the YMCA of Metropolitan Chicago that provides a design and invention space for families to collaborate on Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Math (STEAM) projects and challenges.

What activities does the Family Tinkering Lab offer, and what's the ideal age range for this program?

Families can engage with a variety of fun, hands-on activities that strengthen core skills in science, technology, engineering, art, and math. Activities include DIY Marble Run Workshop, Paper Airplane Lab, Straw Tower Building Ground, Straw Rocket Station, and Pop-Up Card Studio. These self-guided projects are a great way for families with children aged four and older to spend time together while promoting creativity and problem-solving skills.

Why is it important for families to engage in STEAM activities together outside the classroom?

It’s important for learners of all ages—children and adults—to stimulate their creativity and imaginations. The Family Tinkering Lab provides families with a safe, engaging space to collaborate, solve problems, and build something cool. The best part? Families get to have all the fun and leave the cleanup to us.

What COVID-19 safety measures will be in place for participants?

Families will be provided with a private room, and all spaces and materials will be cleaned and sanitized between uses. The Family Tinkering Lab will be restricted to one family per reservation, and participants will be required to wear face coverings for the duration of their visit.

Who can sign up, and how much does it cost?

The Family Tinkering Lab is free to all active YMCA members. Families can visit their local YMCA’s website to check program availability and call to make a reservation.