Tools4Teens was started by a retired physician and lifelong inventor/mechanic/artist who has made it his mission to promote teen technical mentorship. He has developed a program to foster this idea in hopes that it would become a success and expand in the future, possibly at technology venues frequented by youth (perhaps again at the Minnesota State Fair, home shows and hot rod shows). We are hoping that you might care to be involved in some way.
Tools4Teens is a Minnesota based non-profit whose goal is to give tools to teenagers 10-18 who show some interest in being creative and using their hands. We buy fully stocked adult tool sets and bring them to maker fairs, car shows and other events where we teach kids about tools and then give them their very own set of tools. Each set is accompanied with contact information which makes mentors available to the kids to help think through their ideas and projects. 2016 was very successful as a pilot program and our plan for 2017 was to give out 1000 boxes and begin a national movement to get kids back in the workshop. An article is in the works to hopefully be published in Popular Mechanics or Make magazine, encouraging others to start doing this project, including specifics on easy ways to make it happen in your community. We have at least 6 shows scheduled so far and many more event leaders who would like us to bring tools and mentors. The toolkit will hopefully be provided by one of the big retailers, perhaps Minnesota based.
We depend on donations from car shows and private individuals and we are reaching out to a number of Minnesota-based companies to consider being involved in this project with us. These youngsters are our future. Check out our GoFundme.com at your convenience, and also take a look at our Facebook page which has pictures, recent announcements and appearance dates.
The Tools4Teens tool kits include a phone number which will provide a direct link to adult makers who can answer questions that kids may have in working on future projects. Having a capable adult willing to help you sort out your ideas is a great boost to a budding maker’s self esteem and makes them less timid when approaching a project. Advertising on the tool-boxes and in the brochure is available for a reasonable fee. Changes to the kits happen upon availability and the retail price to put such a box together is about $50.
- tape measure and hole/thread sizer
- screwdriver asst.
- socket wrench set
- crescent type wrench
- pliers asst.
- small hammer
- box cutter and or scissors
Examples of Tasks
- variety of drill bits
- hand drill (egg beater)
- drill press
- clamps or vice
- jumper cables
- car battery
- starter motor clamped to table
Cutting Wood and Saws
- miter box clamped to table
- variety of saws-various types of pitch and blades and handles
Metal Shaping and Hammers
- metal castings for shaping sheet steel over
- various hammers- ball peen, body, claw, rawhide,wood and plastic mallets
- sheet steel circles
- rulers yard sticks, tape measures, protractor, caliper
- piece of wood to measure dimensions
Typical Activities (a few examples include)
- soldering a printed circuit light flasher board
- drilling a hole and understanding a jacobs chuck and drill bits
- mounting a wheel/tire on a hub and tightening lug nuts
- wiring a light (and understanding a flashlight)
- using a miter box and how saws work
- screwing wood screws into wood and understanding screwdrivers
- measuring something with a ruler and protractor
- learning about screw threads and pitches and understanding wrenches
- woodburning something
- bending a steel rod with a press or bender
- using sandpaper various grits
- pounding nails the right way
- polishing metal
- metal shaping and the world of hammers
- using a volt meter to measure various battery types, understanding polarity and concept of amperage
- jump start a car with cables
We provide volunteers at each of our events who assist kids in learning a bit about a basic project using specific tools, and once they confirm that the kid has participated to some extent in the activity, the volunteer signs off their task list. Anyone can volunteer, and we always need volunteers. We have been providing these kits on a small scale for many years and we can all tell you that the feedback that we get is priceless. Send us an email to discuss Tools4Teens with our founder Dr. Greg Meyers!