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Camp Instructor Showcase

Happy August, everyone!

As we reach mid-August, we are thinking about how our Summer 2021 Design, Make, Play camps will soon be wrapping up. But, don't fret - we still have two more exciting weeks of STEAM learning! Check out the camps available in Vancouver, Victoria, Edmonton, Calgary, and more locations on the Zen Maker Lab website.

This wonderful summer would not have been possible without the dedication and passion from our camp instructors! This blog post is dedicated to shining a light on some of the instructors in the Vancouver area and to thank all those at Zen for working so hard these past few months.

Aaron Poon

Aaron is a 2nd-year student at UBC Electrical Engineering. His hobbies include reading the news and computer coding. “I like teaching kids, especially when it comes to coding. It’s cool to get to inspire the new generation. I also like getting to work hands-on at Zen, and the environment is enjoyable.”

Ashley Yien

Ashley is a 5th-year student in SFU’s Interactive Arts and Technology program. Her hobbies include photography, bouldering, ceramics, and other hands-on crafts. “I love how positive the workplace culture is at Zen. Surrounding myself with like-minded individuals who are so passionate about the things they do always makes my day!”

Harry Farrel

Harry is a 2nd-year student at UBC Civil Engineering. In his free time, he likes robotics, skiing, hiking, and 3D printing.

“I like getting to flex my creative muscles, and there’s always something creative going on to participate in. I’m always impressed by how quickly kids can pick up the complex concepts we teach.

Henry Huang

Henry is a 3rd-year UBC Computer Engineering student. His hobbies include outdoor physical activity and video games. “I like helping the kids make something cool. With the resources we have at Zen, it’s great to see the kids really engage and challenge themselves to make cool stuff.”

Jacob Rushton

Jacob is a 6th-year Physics and Astronomy at UBC. He loves singing and writing and plays video games in his spare time when he’s not busy studying astrophysics. “I like Zen because it’s awesome to go into depth in science and engineering with the kids. I love working with the students: 12-year-old me would’ve loved to learn about catapults and the other things we do in the camps. You could say I would’ve been a happy camper.”

Katrijn Bjornson

Katrijn is a 3rd-year UBC Geological Engineering student. Her interests include hiking, gardening, and playing open-world video games. “While working at Zen, I loved to see the excitement grow throughout the camps as the kids develop skills and they realize what exactly they can do in science and engineering. Handing back their 3D prints never fails to make us all smile.”

Masoud Hajialiakbar (left) and Nicholas Amy (right)

Masoud is a 3rd-year UofA Electrical Engineering student, while Nicholas is a 3rd-year UBC Electrical Engineering student. Masoud likes playing basketball and video games in his free time and loves anything related to engineering. Nicholas also likes video games and enjoys working on cars and watching Formula One. Their highlight of the summer was meeting each other and becoming great friends.

Masoud: “Zen gives me opportunities to grow, and I love working with the children. They are entertaining, and it is great to see them explore the tools we have here and challenge themselves to get into the engineering mindset.”

Nicholas: “I loved working with the other instructors and helping a small, local company grow while seeing all the kids who got to explore new topics.”

Nickolas Bratvold

Nick is a 4th-year UBC Engineering Physics student. He is passionate about cooking and enjoys playing guitar in his free time. “I really enjoy teaching and getting to help the kids build whatever they want. My favourite part is getting to work alongside the kids and go the extra mile to make them happy."

Taher Kathawala

Taher is a 4th-year Electrical Engineering student at UBC. T loves building rockets. “Zen is super versatile, and you learn so much so quickly. I love being able to do a bunch of different things and try my hand in something I’ve never done before. It is pretty fast-paced, but being a part of an environment that encourages creative freedom is awesome, and I really enjoy it.”

Vivian James

Vivian is a 4th-year student in SFU’s Interactive Arts and Technology program. She loves creating art and enjoys playing video and board games with others. “I love encouraging the kids to get into their interests. It’s awesome to pass along my passion for the arts to the students and seeing them shine.”


Don’t forget to check out our remaining camps and sign up for some end-of-summer fun!

Happy camping,

Zen Maker Lab Team

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