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Build it With Your Own Hands

The Thingamajig Invention Convention came to San Francisco summer camps again this year, and campers worked on hands-on science, technology, engineering, arts, and math inventions (STEAM) at a full-day of learning and competition. Thingamajig started as a way to spark the inventive and creative minds of children through hands-on exhibits and challenges.

Over 1,000 Y campers attended and 50 innovation stations taught themes such as water and explosions, make & takes DIYs, Science & Engineering, Human Biology, and All About Flight!


What Were Our Volunteers Saying?

“I love working with kids, so any volunteer event that has kids involved is usually what I try to sign up for, especially days like today it’s really fun. We get to interact with kids and do a lot of hands-on activities, and I just think it’s really cool that the YMCA puts this kind of stuff on. (Thingamajig) allows kids to invent things and showcase it and really show what they’ve been working on throughout the summer.” - Sarah, Salesforce


"My name is Sheila. I am a medical student at UCSF and I’ve been working for the YMCA over the summer teaching 'Mini Med School and Mindfulness.' Today I’ve brought a smorgasbord of human organs for viewing at my station. It is awesome and invigorating working with the kids from the YMCA. I have found it so exciting to teach them and show them parts of their own body and explain to them how it works, and they’re super fascinated by it. I think the best thing that’s happened this summer is that one of the kids went home and told their mom, ‘I know how the brain works! The neuron sends a signal to the axon to the dendrites.’ I was like, YES it’s working!” - Sheila, UCSF Medical Student


“I’m here today just be inspired by all these kids who want to learn about science, engineering and design. I’m a designer at Clarizen, so seeing a different outlet for creativity makes this a great program. I always like to learn things here and then take it back. I have a one year old daughter, so this will be a lot of interesting activities for the near future." - Lily, Clarizen

Watch Lily teach Thingamjaig campers about quicksand!


Thingamajig By the Numbers

88 Volunteers

made this event come to life. Thank you Nisum,, Salesforce, Sojourn, Fitbit, Zynga, First Republic Bank, US Patent and Trademark Office, Castlight Health, Wells Fargo, and Google!

1,100 Campers 

got their hands dirty for a day of STEAM-based learning.

50 Innovation Stations

taught campers new ways of learning science, technology, engineering, arts and math.

35 Inventions

were entered into the Thingamajig Invention Convention.