should i still register for summer camp? What about Covid-19?


We realize that making summer plans right now can be challenging with the uncertainty our local and global community is facing. To learn how Tinkering School is adapting to new developments, please visit our Covid-19 response page. If you would like more information on our cancelation policy, you can also review it here.


For 2020 we are shifting to a new summer registration process, replacing the previous lottery with a first-come first-serve arrangement similar to our after-school programs. We hope this will make signing up for camp easier and less time consuming for families. Spots do fill up quickly and we anticipate large waitlists, so please remember to sign up early!

Registration schedule all 2020 summer programs:

December 17
Early Bird Registration

January 27
Open Registration


Is Tinkering School a non-profit?


Yes! Tinkering School is a project of the Institute for Applied Tinkering, a 501(c)3 non-profit organization. Our Tax ID is 26-4299346.  All donations are tax-deductible. Our mission is to bring the highest quality hands-on experiential learning to kids everywhere. You can help us reach more kids and create deeper and richer experiences by donating.



Do you offer Financial Assistance?


Yes! We are committed to making our programs available to everyone. We offer scholarships on a pay-what-you-can basis while funds last. All families will be asked their tuition assistance preference during the registration process.



What is your cancellation policy?


Covid-19 Cancelation Policy Update: 

In the event that you or Tinkering School need to cancel a reservation or close camp due to illness or circumstances related to Covid-19, we offer the following options below. When reviewing them, we encourage you to consider shifting your reservation to a future credit or donation. As a non-profit, this will help us ensure that we can continue offering high-quality programming as well as a generous scholarship program for dozens of children each year.

  • Transfer full tuition to a Tinkering School credit (redeemable toward any future Tinkering School program)

  • Donate full tuition toward Tinkering School's scholarship fund

  • Donate deposit toward Tinkering School's scholarship fund and receive a refund for the remaining tuition

  • Receive a full tuition refund

Important note: If you cancel a class on your own, Ultra Camp will default to giving you credit toward future classes. If you'd like to make a donation or receive a refund (instead of credit), please reach out to directly.


Standard Cancelation Policy:

Cancellations 30 or more days prior to the start of the session receive a refund, less the deposit.

Cancellations less than 30 days prior to the start of the session will receive a refund (less the deposit) only if we are able to fill the spot. There is no guarantee the spot will be filled and a refund will be available.

Important note: If you cancel a class on your own, Ultra Camp will default to giving you credit toward future classes. If you'd like a refund (instead of credit), please reach out to directly.

All registrations are non-transferrable.



Are there discounts?


When discounts are available, they will show up at the time of check out. They will not always be automatically applied, so be sure to mark the checkbox next to them!



Where is Tinkering School?


We are located all over the country! Our SF office is located at 360 9th Avenue, San Francisco CA 94118.



What dates am I signed up for again?


Check your UltraCamp account to check what dates you are registered for and wait-listed for. You can also search your email for "tinkering school" and "registration". Still not sure? email



A class I want to sign up for is full, what should I do?


Join the Wait-list! We love wait-lists and use them to help make sure we achieve gender and age balances conducive to an amazing experience for every child and peer-group. If something is full, please join the wait-list if you want to go. We use them often. They also let us monitor demand, know when to hire more staff, and know what to offer more of!



What's the minimum age?


The minimum age for our programs is 7-8 depending on the camp. Some offerings have additional age constrictions, so check the individual offerings for details.



My kid is turning just old enough (or too old) to attend during the next session, can I enroll them anyway?


The best age to go by is their age as of the first day of the session. Exceptions are possible on a case by case basis. Please email if you have more questions.



How do I know what workshops my kid is the right age for?


Most of our pages now list the age range of the program. 



Is there a Tinkering School near me?


Maybe! We have programs here in the San Francisco Bay Area and also in Los AngelesAustin and North Carolina. 

And, of course Tinkering School is not the only place that builds with kids. Check out the MakerSpace Directory for an ever-growing list of places to build.



I’d like to start a Tinkering School (or something like it) in my community. Can you help me?


Yes, we can. Our mission is “to create excellent hands-on learning opportunities for children everywhere.” This means sharing best practices and lessons learned from thousands of hours spent building with kids.

For more specific advice, check out;



How do I pay?


The best way to pay is to sign into the registration system and pay via credit card or e-check. We cannot accept paper checks or cash.



What should my kid bring?


For every Class, Workshop, or Camp:
- A refillable water bottle.
- Closed-toe shoes (we work with heavy and messy things).
- Comfortable clothes that can get dirty. (Seriously, whatever they wear may get dirty or even torn).

Additional items for any All Day Offerings (One Day Workshops, Day Camp, Break Camps):
- A nutritious and delicious lunch.
- A snack for snack time.
- Sunscreen already applied for the day (send extra if your child has sensitive skin). We go outside most workshops and most days.

Overnight camp is a totally different monster. Check out the overnight camp page for more information.



Is there class this week? When does class start? When does it end?


You can find the answer to these and most other scheduling issues by logging into your account and checking the session page.



What do I do if I am going to be late for drop off or pick-up?


If you know you are going to be late for the start of class, or late to pickup there two ways to get a hold of us. If you know in advance, just email



What about food at camp?


A day at Tinkering School builds a pretty good appetite. For day programs, (Summer Day Camp, One Day Workshops, Intro to Welding) be sure to send your kid with a hearty lunch, some snacks, and a water bottle. For Overnight Camp, just bring a water bottle. We've got the rest covered. Have more questions about overnight camp? Check out our program details page.