Maker Camp - Week 1: Wake Up

The first in our series of college prep maker camps. Learn to tell time by making an electronic alarm clock.

Step one for any successful day is to wake up. The trouble is that waking up is hard. The inability to track time in one's sleep and the reluctance to get out of bed has challenged humanity for a very long time. The ancient Greeks solved this problem by inventing hydraulic alarm clocks, a feat that very few of us would have the ingenuity to consider. Today we rely on electrons to count the passing of time, and at the cost of $10 for an alarm clock, it must not be very difficult to make, right?

Students in this camp are going to make their own Raspberry Pi powered alarm clock. One that can be set using analog buttons or through a web interface, beautifully enclosed in your own 3D printed housing, and interfaced with the web, able to wake you up at a time synchronized by your Google calendar to an alarm of your choosing. What would be more likely to wake you up, a randomized poetry reading, or your favorite Spotify playlist? When you build your own alarm clock, it doesn't just have to wake you up, it could help put you to sleep as well. Wire a pressure sensor to your pillow, and at the appropriate time use it to play soothing music at a gradually decreasing volume, or maybe you'd rather be proposed a random philosophical question to ponder as you doze off.

By making this clock, you'll gain first hand experience in:

  • Electronic components 
  • Raspberry Pi computers
  • Through-hole and surface mount soldering 
  • Python programming
  • Flask API
  • Fundamentals of computation
  • The Linux command line
  • 3D modeling
  • 3D printing

This camp session is 5 days and 6 nights long and is led by two highly experienced maker educators at Vector Space. An RA will accompany students before and after Vector Space hours, and a local guide will lead students through cultural experiences at various Lynchburg events and locations.

General Schedule

Students arrive on campus Sunday, July 12th. Check-in begins at 2pm, and a welcome dinner will take place that evening, where students will meet their fellow campers, RA, instructors, and cultural guide. For Monday through Friday, the general schedule is as follows.

7:00 - 8:30       Wake-Up and Breakfast
8:45 - 9:00       Bus to Vector Space
9:00 - 11:45       Vector Space program
11:45 - 12:30       Lunch and guest speaker
12:30 - 4:30       Vector Space program
4:30 - 4:45       Return to campus
4:45 - 6:00       Relaxation & Personal Time
6:00 - 7:00       Dinner
7:00 - 9:00       Evening Activity
9:00 - 9:30       Final Check-in
9:30 - 7:00       Room Curfew

Students will have an opportunity to present their work to the public at the conclusion of camp. Check out is Saturday morning after breakfast.


This camp is for rising college freshmen throughout the country.

Some experience with computer programming is expected, but far more important is your work ethic and ability to work independently. Prior technical knowledge is not expected or required; instructors will lead students through lessons to be followed by independant application of skills learned.


The tuition fee for this program covers housing, all meals, the course, supplies, and cultural activities from Sunday evening through Saturday morning. Airfare, transportation to and from the airport, meals purchased outside the program, and personal shopping are not included in this cost.

Student registration is processed on a first-come, first-served basis and guaranteed upon final payment. Payments are refundable until April 1st, 2020, after which they become non-refundable.

Tuition is $1100 through March 31st. Price increases to $1250 on April 1st. Payments are made via credit card under the Registration tab.

Learn More

We have written a high-level post about our Summer 2020 Maker Camps here. This post includes details about the camp host, Vector Space, as well as our boarding partner and the city of Lynchburg, VA. 

For details about curriculum and logistics (room and board, transporation, etc.) see our Makerveristy FAQ page.

For a deep dive into our educational philosophy and beliefs, click here.

Our Sponsor

This program is generously funded by Cognizant's Making the Future program, which seeks to inspire young learners to pursue science, technology, engineering and math disciplines by creating fun, hands-on learning opportunities.

July 12th, 2020 2:00 PM   through   July 18th, 2020 6:00 AM
402 Fifth street
Lynchburg, VA 24504-2450
United States

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Phone: 4345151584
Event Fee(s)
Student $ 1,250.00