Inspiring belief in a better tomorrow. Equipping kids with the tools to build it.

Austin, TX : Kids Hack the City : Workshop resources for kids and parents

 "We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing." 
- George Bernard Shaw



At Saturday's Kids Hack the City in Austin, TX we were joined by over 200 kids and parents at Travis Heights Elementary to make games, messes, inventions, robots, and belly laughs.

We'll have more photos and videos to share soon...but for now here is a list of resources for all of the attendees (or anyone else!) who'd like to dig deeper into our workshops and bring them into their homes:

Paper Circuits




This workshop was inspired by Jie Qi's work at MIT's High-Low Tech. Check out the full tutorial and materials list for "Paper Circuits with Copper Tape" here:

Squishy Circuits

Image via

The squishy circuits workshop enabled kids to use conductive dough, LEDs and batteries to assemble their own squishy inventions. Check out squishy circuits workshops you can do at home here:

Strawberry DNA


This experiment allowed kids to use household chemicals to extract and see DNA from strawberries. It is also is super squishy and super easy to do from home. Check out the step-by-step from Science Buddies:

Biomimetic Wing Design

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Biomimicry TX got kids excited about design inspired by nature. After studying- the structure of wings, kids used natural and recycled materials to design their own giant wings and lift off (or spin around)!

Learn how to design your own wings at the Curiosity Machine:



Video Game Design & Makey Makey

Kids designed and hacked video games using Scratch, a sort of  virtual lego blocks for programming designed to enable kids to create their own interactive experiences. It is free along with thousands of examples on MIT's Scratch website

For controllers and real-world interface experimentation (including an arcade joystick made from a glass bottle and cardboard box) they played with Makey Makey, an invention kit that allows you to turn anything conductive into a keyboard, joystick, or controller.


Learn more and purchase your own Makey Makey here:

Dj Technology with Dub Academy

Download video: MP4 format

Dub Academy schooled kids in new and old school DJ technologies like scratching, Traktor, Serato, and more.

Dub Academy is an amazing full-service DJ and production school. Learn about their classes here:

Wheat Paste the City

image via  @robinboeun

image via @robinboeun

Wheat Pasting is a biodegradable way to create street art collages. Our kids added their pictures of the present and future to a painted skyline of Austin.

Make your own wheat paste using this recipe:

Light Writing

image via  @collabnart

image via @collabnart

The high tech artists from Collabnart set up a light writing photobooth. Follow these instructions to create your own light doodles:!/


image via  Jasmine Kerns

image via Jasmine Kerns

Katie Kizziar from soon-to-be-open Austin Thinkery brought four sets of LEGO Mindstorm kids and taught kids how to build and program their own robots. Go check this and more amazing workshops and experiments when the Thinkery opens to the public this December: 

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Thanks again to the amazing energy, creativity, and curiosity brought by all of our kids, parents, and mentors who made Saturday an amazing day. 

Please share your inventions in the comments as you take any of these workshops and run with them at home!