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Do you like to make and tinker with things? Do you have an interest in creating digital devices but don't know where to start? If so, you are in the right place!

4-H is taking emerging technologies by storm. We've added new projects which will spark the imagination of builders, makers, and tinkerers of all ages. 

Over the last decade, Do-it-yourselfers have shown the world that you do not need to be an engineer or computer scientist to create useful, innovative devices, gadgets, and gizmos through what is known as the Maker Movement. In fact, with very little background, and a can-do attitude, almost anyone can enter the Maker world and create anything their imagination guides them to.

This year, Illinois 4-H has brought the Maker Movement to your doorstep through a Multi Media curriculum experience called DIY Make & Build!

DIY Make and Build is an opportunity for youth to learn about design, engineering, manufacturing, electricity and computer programming while being innovative and imaginative.  While each activity has a specific goal in mind, this guide is to be used as a starting block to expand on each of the concepts and ideas presented here.

This activity guide is designed to guide you in creating a sustained learning experience for youth using readily available materials purchased both online and locally, as well as common items found around the house. These activities are accompanied by video guides that can be used by youth independently (or at home) as well as in group settings. In addition, youth are encouraged to perform “Online Reconnaissance Missions” to research topics not explicitly covered in this guide. These will be marked as “ORM”.  Each day can be done independently but could also be done in succession for a sustained learning experience.  There are suggested activities in each of the topic related days.  There are several online resources with similar activities that can be added to extend the time or others can be used in place of the ones listed.


Learning Objectives

  • Understand and learn the basic concepts and skills needed to be a “Maker” including but not limited to designing, cutting, manufacturing, simple circuitry, electronics and micro controllers.
  • Become familiar with terms/techniques such as circuitry, wire stripping, conductivity, and hydraulic pressure.
  • Become familiar with using online open and external resources to enrich the learning experience
  • Develop a sense of creativity, innovation and independence using different materials to create practical & fun mechanical and electronic devices.
  • Apply maker concepts and skills to their own designs and creations.
  • Have fun!


  • Lessons are appropriate for youth ages 10-14 with local assistance, and with interested older youth independently with the aid of the video guides. 
  • Lessons can be taught be by adults or Teen Teachers. 

Time Frame

  • Lessons can be used consecutively on multiple days or as one off, one day activities.  Lessons can be used in a club, camp, or classroom setting.

DIY Make & Build Can Be Downloaded for free at the Following Link:

DIY Make & Build Activity Guide