Our Story + Testimonials


Looking to give his own kids and their friends opportunities to learn about high tech making and inspired by Gever Tulley’s TED talk, Andy Forest along with Marianne Mader started a “Tinkering Club” summer camp in their garage in 2010. As a web developer and a tinkerer, Andy brought some skills with him, but more importantly brought an attitude of honoring kids abilities. The main point was to help them to learn and discover what they wanted to! They made boats and sunk them full of kids in lake Ontario. They made hacked nerf guns with Arduino to be motion-activated. They had a lot of fun and became confident in their abilities as makers!



After the first camp, Andy noticed a big change in his own kids – they started teaching themselves. Through online resources and experimentation, they were learning to make all kinds of things on their own. They would just hand Andy lists of tools and materials that they needed. A child who asks for a soap making supplies and a drawing tablet for Christmas is a life-long learner.


So in the spring of 2012, Andy and Marianne acquired a permanent makerspace location and formed a non-profit organisation. The goal was to provide a place to give kids access to the technologies, materials and skills that they couldn’t get on their own, and teach them that they are capable of anything! They even used their wedding as a fundraiser, and got their first 3D printer. During renovations, they knew they were on to something when kids who had been to the camp would see them walking by their house and would run outside shouting “When are you opening!?”



Since then, thousands of kids have come through the doors and emerged as robotics engineers, wood workers, costumers, video game developers, animators, 3D designers, Minecraft programmers and super heroes! We’re so proud of our army of kids prepared to invent the future together.

Now with STEAMLabs, Andy and Marianne are excited to expand their original vision to bring the world of high tech making to people of all ages and all abilities!  They aspire to provide a community hub for all makers to share ideas, problem solve, and to bring their ideas to life.


See what people have to say about STEAMLabs!


From the very first day at SteamLabs, Phelan came home completely ON FIRE with creativity and energy. He couldn’t stop talking about every detail of his ideas and what he was planning to do. Instead of automatically asking to use screens when he came home each night, he would dive into his Lego or get out a pen and paper and draw something that was on his mind. Each night he went to bed excited for the next day, and bounded out of bed in the morning, eager to get to SteamLabs to ‘get his work done’.


Beyond all of this – the biggest surprise to us has been the continued developments and growth in the days since camp ended. Phelan first declared unequivocally that he needed our support to create a space in our home where he could organize, store and build with his Lego and shoot YouTube videos of his Lego creations for his (yet to be created) YouTube channel.


Again, thank you and your team SO MUCH! These results have exceeded anything we could have dreamed for this summer – I feel like my boy has exploded out of his cocoon, and it is such a joy to behold!


I must tell you that since his dad passed he has not been so excited about anything and has not been away from me for more than 4 days and now he is willing to not see mummy for 2 weeks!


Matt says it was the best camp he has ever been to and he would highly recommend it! He learned a lot, met some great people and is raring to try out his new skills at home!


At first when I came here, I had no idea how any of this electric stuff worked, and I’m just like, how I am going to be able to make this? But over time with my mistakes, I realized it gets easier and it comes to me and sometimes making a mistake actually teaches you something – why something doesn’t work.
~Joe, age 11


The toy hacking party was perfect for my son ‘s birthday. He and his friends love to build stuff so the hands on activities kept them engaged the whole time. The staff member who helped was fantastic and it was a breeze to arrange. The kids loved that they could take their toy creations home and I liked that I didn’t have to give out regular junky loop bags. I’d highly recommend [STEAMLabs] and their birthday party packages


Thanks my almost 4 year old had a great time watching the 3D printer in action and everyone was so nice and helpful.


[STEAMLabs] came on my radar after Googling the game Minecraft, a game that my kids are very passionate about. What a lucky find! Every Thursday now my twin 9 year old boys play their favourite game with other fans in a safe, fun and welcoming atmosphere. The mandate that we are all “makers” and that creativity is the beginning of any great idea is apparent in the relaxed accepting vibe of the space and in the approach of the facilitators. Makers themselves, they seem to intuitively embrace and encourage what other classes and systems work so hard to repress. My boys flourish here and look forward to it every week. They show social skills improvement and more confidence since coming to [STEAMLabs] and finding their “tribe.” Happy children make me a happy and grateful mom. Thanks [STEAMLabs] (especially Brent) for creating programs for my quirky, “outside the box thinking” boys.


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