Tinkering & Making

AR Maker Summit || Maker Boot Camp || Private Workshops || Making Spaces 

The Amazeum believes tinkering develops the capacity for innovative problem solving by engaging students in hands-on, skill building projects that incorporate science, technology, engineering, art and math. Tinkering is an innovative approach to learning that focuses on open-ended explorations with materials, tools and ideas. As the leading resource for school based tinkering in NWA, the Amazeum offers several professional development workshops to support schools as they implement tinkering and develop makerspaces. 

Arkansas Maker Summit

January 30, 2020MakerSummit2019 logo image 72ppi
8:30 am - 4:00 pm
$49 registration fee (includes light breakfast and lunch)
Advanced registration and payment required. 
Click here to register for Arkansas Maker Summit
Location: The Apollo on Emma at 308 W Emma Ave, Springdale AR. Breakout sessions will be held at multiple locations within walking distance of the Apollo. Transportation will be provided.

The Scott Family Amazeum is excited to host the third statewide Maker Summit, presented by the Windgate Foundation, on Thursday, January 30, 2020 in downtown Springdale, Arkansas.

The Arkansas Maker Summit will explore the impact and value of the robust maker movement emerging around the Natural State. By convening national, regional, and local maker community leaders, the Arkansas Maker Summit will encourage increased opportunities for diverse populations, economic drivers, and future-ready learners to engage together in this budding maker ecosystem. Featuring innovative technologists, educators, and thought leaders with a maker-mindset from across multiple industries and sectors, topics at the Arkansas Maker Summit will explore the movement in a variety of contexts, including Makerspaces in K-12 schools, extracurricular environments, business and manufacturing, and entrepreneurial settings. The Summit will generate connections between sectors with the goal of weaving together the communities passionate about maker-based opportunities to build a foundation for a more coordinated and systemic effort in Arkansas.

The Maker Summit aims to empower people of all walks of life—from educators and entrepreneurs to creatives and executives and everyone in between—to further explore the impact of the maker mindset. All who are interested in the maker movement such as teachers, out of school time educators, public libraries, makers, creatives, entrepreneurs, business leaders, and workforce developers are invited to attend the Arkansas Maker Summit and help build this burgeoning community together. 

Arkansas Department of Education approved professional development credit is available to Arkansas teachers.

Keynote speaker: Dale Dougherty, CEO and Founder of Maker Media, publisher of Make Magazine. Dale is also a founding board member of Maker Education Initiative (MakerEd.org).

Additional details available here.

Click here to register for Arkansas Maker Summit

Interested in sponsoring this event? Click here for sponsorship opportunities. 

Questions about AR Maker Summit? Please contact Elyse Partee at epartee@amazeum.org. 

Maker Boot Camp

June 2-5, 2020 (Tuesday-Friday)
Time: 9am-4pm

Maker Boot Camp is a four-day, immersive experience that will transform your maker skills whether you are a novice, developing maker, or just enjoy tinkering with things. Maker Boot Camp is designed for teachers, public librarians, and museum professionals. Maker Boot Camp includes the following:

  • Personal, hands-on tinkering experiences through process-focused workshops, designed to give both practical and theoretical insight into different forms of making
  • Roundtable discussions to reflect upon your tinkering experiences and unpack how tinkering is a  valuable learning process
  • Networking and skill swapping with makers from a wide range of educational settings  

Fee includes take home materials and resources in addition to 28 hours of ADE professional development credits (optional). Light breakfast and lunch will be provided each day.

Participants are asked to bring an electronic device such as a smartphone, laptop, or tablet. WiFi will be provided. We recommend attending with another representative of your institution so that you can support each other’s process of making and reflecting.  

Fee: $1,000 per participant

Special pricing is available!

  • If 2 or more participants from the same institution register together: $850 per participant
  • Staff from Amazeum Making Spaces Schools: $750 per participant

Advance payment and registration required. Complete this form in order to begin the registration process. An Amazeum representative will contact you to finish the registration process upon receipt of completed form.

Private Workshops

Registration Details

The Amazeum offers private workshops for Tinkering 101, Tinkering 201 and Skill Swaps. Full descriptions are available below. Each private workshop is 2 hours long with the date determined in collaboration between school and Amazeum. Private workshops are best when held at Amazeum due to the experience and access to resources/tools. However, workshops can be held at your school site.  Workshops are ADE-approved for professional development credit.

Fee*: two-hour workshop at Amazeum for up to 25 teachers: $425
          two-hour workshop at school site** for up to 25 teachers: $500

Advanced registration and payment required by contacting Director of Education at mporter@amazeum.org

*Fees listed are negotiable with the Director of Education based upon quantity and frequency.
**Additional fee may apply for sites over 45 miles from Amazeum. 

Professional development workshops are designed for adult only.  

Workshop Descriptions 


Tinkering 101 Workshop

Are you asking yourself 'what is tinkering' or 'how do I start tinkering in my classroom'? Then this is the workshop for you! Tinkering studios and makerspaces are growing in popularity among schools, museums, and libraries. But what is tinkering and making? Does this approach to learning really belong in schools? If it does, then what are the best practices for implementing tinkering in a classroom setting? As the leading resource for student based tinkering in NWA, the Scott Family Amazeum will share insights and strategies including opportunities to sample tinkering experiences.

Tinkering 201 Workshop

After completing a Tinkering 101 workshop, are you excited about implementing tinkering based learning into your classroom? Are you ready to continue your tinkering journey? Tinkering 201 is your next step! This workshop features hands-on experiences with implementation resources including documentation and assessment strategies. Participants will use a three part planning framework to structure tinkering experiences that lead to deep learning opportunities.   

Skill Swaps

Skill Swaps are workshops where you can learn new tinkering skills and build upon the skills that you already have while experimenting first hand with ideas and materials. The Amazeum will lead an exchange of making/tinkering based skills and hands-on activities in order to develop your own tinkering and implementation with your students. A variety of Skill Swaps are available- descriptions are below.

Makey Makey  This Skill Swap will focus on the creative tool called Makey Makey. We'll explore how you can start inventing with a Makey Makey out of the box and how you and your students can take it further by combining it with Scratch to experiment with basic programming. Join us as we investigate this simple tool for incorporating technology into the classroom that has endless creative possibilities!
Shakey Machines  Ready to expand your tinkering experience? Ready to shake things up with motors and batteries? Join the Amazeum team for a workshop all about bots! Bots that move, bots made out of everyday items, bots that can make art, and more!
Circuits  Learn how to create a basic circuit using circuit blocks. We will explore conductivity and switches by giving you hands-on time to mess around with your circuit. Then we will take it up a level and get creative with squishy circuits.
Build a Block Party Want to use circuit blocks in your classroom but you don't have circuit blocks? Build a Block Party is your solution! Come learn how to turn everyday objects and interesting materials into a tool you can use to engage your students in basic circuits. We will provide the tools and materials for you to make your first few starter circuit blocks.
Animation Animation is defined as 'using slightly different pictures that when shown quickly in a series create the appearance of movement'. In this Skill Swap, we will explore a variety of ways to animate your series of slightly different pictures. Discover the progression of animation from the earliest forms before film to the modern animation techniques of stop motion. Whether it’s hand-drawn or computer based, animation can bring out the creativity of your students and connect to content as well.
Circuits and Coding Want to keep exploring the world of circuitry? Paper circuits blend art, electricity, math, and even simple coding into awe-inspiring projects. This friendly way to learn electronics is a great for beginners and anyone looking to complexify their experience with circuits.  
Sewn Circuits Circuits can be soft, too! Come join your sewing and circuit skills together to create projects called sewn circuits. This Skill Swap will focus on the spatial awareness of sewing and the complexity of completing a circuit in fabric.


Making Spaces 

If you are looking for a more in-depth partnership with the Amazeum to develop tinkering based learning at your school, check out the Making Spaces program.  


Tinkerfest is the Amazeum's annual festival of tinkering! Come explore a wide variety of tinkering activities to gain inspiration for your classroom...and have fun! Full details are available here

Copyright 2020 Scott Family Amazeum

Website by Adair Creative Group

The Scott Family Amazeum is a hands-on, interactive museum for children and families located in Bentonville, Ark. A museum with a foundation in the arts and sciences, the Amazeum encourages creativity, curiosity and community through exhibits, educational collaboration, and programs, workshops and camps. Amazeum experiences include a climbable tree canopy, indoor cave, tinkering hub, nearly one acre of outdoor space, and ever-evolving daily pop-up activities.



Mon: 10 am - 5 pm
Tues: Closed
Wed, Thurs, Fri, Sat: 10 am - 5 pm
Sun: 1 pm - 5 pm
CLOSED Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Eve (Dec. 24), Christmas Day (Dec. 25), New Year's Day (Jan. 1)
Please check our calendar for other variations of our hours.


Members - FREE
Kids under 2 years - FREE
Adults & Kids - $9.50


Copyright © 2020 Scott Family Amazeum

Website by Adair Creative Group