April 2016

RAFT believes the best way to spark the love of learning for the next generation of thinkers, innovators, problem-solvers and creators is through hands-on learning. As a nonprofit organization founded in 1994, RAFT leverages community donations and volunteer support to serve 10,500 educators each year who teach nearly 850,000 students.


What's in Store $1 Assorted glassware, $1 Harry Potter Hogwarts Klutz building cards, $10 Gumball dispensing machine

Read More

News and Events

RAFT Participates in SV Gives
Silicon Valley Gives logo


On Tuesday, May 3, 2016, Silicon Valley Gives will raise money for local nonprofits through a single online donation platform, providing a simple way to connect donors to the charitable causes they care about most and encourage them to take action. Please tell your family, friends, and coworkers about this event. Donations can be made straight to RAFT’s page here.

Happy National Volunteer Month!

Happy National Volunteer Month

A special thank you to all the wonderful volunteers for supporting RAFT. In 2015, volunteers donated nearly 32,000 hours of their time, valuing nearly $800,000 in hours! We wouldn’t be able to support hands-on learning without you!


Coming in July! Project Ember maker camps come to RAFT to make large-scale, kid-designed art.

Project Ember is returning to RAFT for more maker camps this summer! Project Ember empowers kids to design and build concrete solutions to abstract problems. The camp prompts merge objective engineering challenges with artistic freedom in a process called world-building. Project Ember is in awe of the worlds kids dream up, so prefabricated kits are used to solve design challenges – utilizing kids’ creativity. Project Ember also uses power tools and construction grade supplies to design projects big enough to get in, climb on, or operate. And for these two special weeks of camp, kids will have the opportunity to let their imaginations run wild with access to the nearly limitless supplies available at RAFT.

For a limited time, RAFT members can register their kids for either week of camp through our partner Reso using the code EMBER20RAFT for 20% off tuition. Details on dates, scholarships and your exclusive member discount at projectember.org/raft. And check out the Project Ember video (filmed at RAFT!) to see what they’re all about.


CUE Rock Star Teacher Camp: Math Edition

Date: May 14-15, 2016

Location: Los Gatos High School

Professional Development conference with a focus on Math Lesson Design. This 2-day conference on math instruction and technology includes Fawn Nguyen (a middle school teacher and co-organizer of the Thousand Oaks Math Teachers’ Circle). Cost is about $250 + membership fees.

Find out more here: http://www.cue.org/rsspecialty/rsmath16


Maker Faire

Date: May 20, May 20th from 1–5pm.

Maker Faire is the Greatest Show (and Tell) on Earth, showcasing creative and resourceful people in the areas of science and technology, engineering, food, and arts and crafts. From rockets to robots, hacked fashion to pedal power, we’ve got all kinds of do-it-yourself projects. Many schools use their visit as a way to launch a making initiative on campus, whether that’s a makerspace, School Maker Faire, or joining President Obama’s initiative, A Nation of Makers.

Because Maker Faire cares deeply about inspiring the next generation of Makers, we designed an exclusive afternoon especially for students and teachers to get special early access to all the amazing Makers who will be exhibiting over the weekend.

Note that we can arrange scholarships to make it easier for students on financial aid to join the field trip. Reserve tickets for groups of 10+ here: FRIDAY@MakerFaire.

Find out about all of Maker Faire’s educational offerings here: http://makerfaire.com/bay-area/education/

and more generally: http://makerfaire.com/education/


AIM Teachers’ Circle Summer Immersion Workshop

DATE: July 11-15

Location: American Institute of Mathematics, San Jose

The AIM Teachers’ Circle summer immersion workshop is a fully funded program open to all Bay Area math teachers who are interested in spending a week immersed in mathematics, getting hands-on experience with problem solving practices, and making connections with local teachers and mathematicians. Information and applications are available here: http://www.mathteacherscircle.org/aim/workshop/


Summer teaching opportunities for teachers, musicians, college students & entertainers!

If you love helping kids fall in love with writing and develop academic confidence, then Adventures in Writing Camp wants to talk to you! Adventures in Writing Camp (AIWC) is a two week program that gives students the experience of being authors. Using music, theater, technology and fun(!) AIWC aims to create an environment where campers fall in love with writing!

This summer there will be camps throughout the Bay Area (See www.AIWcamp.com  for a location near you). If you share our enthusiasm for writing and are interested in teaching for two or more weeks this summer, AIWC has positions available for credentialed teachers, musicians and current college students. To see job descriptions and a brief video explaining the roles, please visit www.AIWcamp.com/join-the-team.  

was last modified: April 4th, 2016 by admin

Read More

Hands-On Activities

Area Antics kit

Area Antics

This popular activity plays like the card game “War”, but with a new twist. Players estimate, and then measure, the area of shapes by covering them with centimeter blocks. With practice, they internalize the concept of area and learn to estimate it. This activity can also be used to learn about perimeter. Adding more layers of blocks introduces the concept of volume.

Grades Covered: 3 through 7
Subjects Covered: Math

Curriculum topics: Area, Estimation, Measurement, Geometry

Download Idea Sheet here.

was last modified: April 4th, 2016 by admin

Read More

Professional Development

RAFT can help you meet your training goals with tailored sessions and series covering a variety of topics including STEM.

Saturday, April 30: Connecting Financial Literacy with Mathematics!





was last modified: April 4th, 2016 by admin

Read More

was last modified: April 4th, 2016 by admin