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Jackson Grenier and Gustavo Cuevas work on lego sets during a previous the Makersville engineering class. This summer, classes are either socially-distanced or virtual.

Makers continue to build and create at Makersville, a nonprofit offering hands on craft-making and science-based classes catered to youngsters and teens in the Long Beach area.

"We are constantly evolving, so creating classes that are socially distant and are mindful of the pandemic is just a part of our evolution," Patricia Tsoiasue, Makersville founder, said.

While classes are typically catered to a room full of students building bridges made out of legos, or experiencing an introduction to programming through the game Minecraft, this summer is different. The coronavirus pandemic has forced Makersville to think about socially-distanced learning environments, and right now there's five classes to choose from.

Minecraft for Kiddos

This virtual class is an open learning session happening from 11 a.m. to noon every Monday and Tuesday through Aug. 3.

Students can work with instructors to help recreate Long Beach's historical Pike in the game, or learn how to use Python to enhance the game.

The cost is $10 per class, or $70 total for all classes through August.

Family Mask Making

Family members of two or more can sign up for private mask-making classes where participants can choose their fabric style, learn how to cut and sew on the sewing machine.

Classes can seat up to five students at the Makersville location in Shoreline Village and cost $20 per person. 

Once the class is completed, students can volunteer to help Makersville staff make and donate masks to low-income families and first responders.

Explore the Pike

High school students can learn all about The Pike and its longstanding Long Beach history.

Students can use their talents to help tell The Pike's story by creating activity books and publishing comics in collaboration with Long Beach's Atomic Basement Comics publishing house.

"We're exploring The Pike in 1954 and we are researching what life was like and will share them with the community in the form of a comic," Tsoiasue said. "This is also an opportunity for these kids to get their name published in a comic book."

Anyone with photos or information about the historical Pike can email info@makersville.net.

Outdoor Family Makerspace

From 3 to 6 p.m. every Monday through Friday, folks can head over to Shoreline Village and get crafty at the Makersville kiosk, located outside 419-Q Shoreline Village Drive.

A half hour can be secured for $12 where crafters can learn how to sew and stamp a custom leather bracelet, write with LEGO bricks, learn sewing basics with sew kits or craft fake spiders with glowing eyes. All crafts can be taken home when complete. 

Android App Development

Braedon Schmidt, a 2016 graduate of Sato High School and current student at University of California Irvine, is offering tutoring in computer programming, app development and hosting hack-a-thons. Classes are not yet scheduled as organizers are gauging interest. Email braedons@uci.edu for more information.

The nonprofit is accepting donations, which go toward offsetting the cost of tuition for students that may not be able to afford all or part of the cost for classes. To donate, email info@makersville.net.

To sign up for classes, or to inquire about scholarship opportunities, go to makersville.net.

Stephanie Stutzman can be reached at sstutzman@gazettes.com.

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