Our Practice


Making and Learning

Through workshops, classes and studio time youth learn how to code, sew, design, use vinyl cutters, 3D printers, laser cutters, electronics and assorted other tools and materials to bring their ideas to life.

Travel Style: Active
Service Level: Standard
Trip Type: Small Group

Our Philosophy

We use tools and technology as a platform for empowerment. Youth are encouraged to discover their passions through play. Play means having time to fiddle, tinker and experiment with materials in an encouraging environment supported by a coach. Once passions are cultivated students naturally discover their purpose and find meaningful ways to connect with community.

We believe learning takes time. We build a reflective practice in our students by emphasizing personal qualities such as grit, creativity, and empathy.


At PVD-Young Makers, we work with ‘students’, both young and old, over extended periods of time teaching technical, artistic, and design skills while cultivating the personal attributes required for success in life. Grit, self control, empathy, problem solving, and resilience are attributes that will foster success in any pursuit. PVD-YM participants have access to Maker tools, tutors, workshops, classes and more at all 9 Providence Community Library locations & the Rhode Island Museum of Science (RIMOSA). Each of the 10 locations offer laptop computers, a range of powerful design and manufacturing software, a laser cutter/engraver, a 3D printer, vinyl cutter & heat press, electronic components (micro-controllers, breadboards, LED lights, sensors, MakeyMakey, etc…), hand and power tools, and most importantly — a team of MAKERS who are there to HELP! Continue below to see how this foundation informs our educational Philosophy of Maker Centered Learning. If you have any questions feel free to email pvdyoungmakers@gmail.com.

Our tag line is Make | Learn | Do.

We believe students of all ages are capable of learning how to use powerful technology and materials to create. We believe in collaboration across sectors, ages and economic spectrums. The path to a better future requires collaboration and equal opportunity.

Make (ing) is the messy part of learning. The process. The spilled paint. The crossed wires. The misused words. All the little, and big, mistakes which in the end, with persistence, patience, and a supportive community, add up to the project or the product or the experience.
Learn (ing) is the process of reflection. “We do not learn from experience, said the esteemed educational philosopher John Dewey, “We learn from reflecting on experience.” To this end students who fully engage in our program will develop portfolios to facilitate learning and reflection.
Do: refers to taking action in the community. Bringing newfound skills to life with confidence purpose. This is our expectation for all our youth.

The book, Maker Centered Learning, written by the research team from Harvard’s Agency by Design, spent three years investigating making and learning across America. They concluded that enhanced agency is the primary outcome of making. Skills are acquired, but the most significant outcome is increased confidence, the ability to think for oneself.