Frequently Asked Questions – Youth Programs


Q:          Where is Urban Workshop located?

A:           We are located at 365-A Clinton Street, Costa Mesa, CA 92626. Near the cross roads of Redhill and Bristol in the heart of Orange County California.


Q:          What are Urban Workshop’s operating hours?

A:           The Makerspace portion of Urban Workshop is open Monday through Friday 9 am to 9 pm and Saturday / Sunday 9 am to 4 pm. The youth program classes are scheduled for specific times. For example, we regularly schedule our semester classes from 9 am to 12 noon, 1 pm to 4 pm, and 5 pm to 8 pm. We do offer class times during the day, evening, and weekends. Our Summer and Winter camps run for one full week from Monday thru Friday, 9 am to 4 pm.


Q:          Do I need to be a member to take classes or participate in the youth program?

A:           No! Anyone can take classes or attend the Youth Program at Urban Workshop without a membership.


Q:          What age group is eligible to participate in the Youth Program?

A:          10 to 16 years old. All the tools and equipment the students use throughout the program are adult sized and require the students to be big enough and strong enough to handle them safely in class.


Q:          What type of training and activities are provided in the Urban Workshop Youth Program?

A:           It is our goal to help young students become curious about how the world around them works while introducing them to both modern and traditional tools and techniques that will help them shape it. We believe that everyone should be self-sufficient and have the skills and confidence to be able to fix and invent things. This leads to young people who know how to think on their feet, solve real world problems, are aware of the tools available to them, and know how to use those tools to their best effect.


Q:          What tools and equipment do students use in the Youth Program?

A:           Over the course of the four levels, students will learn to use nearly every hand tool imaginable, powered hand tools, air tools, and large production quality machines in the wood shop, metal shop, weld shop, electronics lab, and engineering office. Please review the details document on each Youth Program page for additional information on the projects and tools used each semester.


Q:          My student already has some experience with tools, can they skip straight to level 2?

A:           The class levels build on each other so it is essential that students start in Level 1 and proceed through the levels. Level 1 is designed to introduce students to a wide variety of shop areas and skills, so even if your young student has experience in one area they are guaranteed to learn a ton of new skills while building on the techniques they may be familiar with.


Q:          Can we come see the place before we sign up?

A:           Yes, absolutely. We provide free tours anytime during our normal hours. We are always happy to tour you around the facility, show the youth program projects first hand, and introduce you to the instructors.


Q:          Can families / parents stay at Urban Workshop during the class?

A:           Families are always welcome at Urban Workshop. Please feel free to come in when dropping off or picking up students, to tour the facility, meet the instructors, and ask questions of our staff. It is, however, our policy that parents drop off the students for the duration of the class. It has been our experience that the students behave completely different when their parents are nearby and don’t fully engage in the class projects. For their benefit and safety they need to be fully engaged in what they are doing when using tools or they could be injured.


Q:          What is your electronics and cell phone policy?

A:           Students are required to store there their personal items including laptops, games, MP3 players, and cell phones during class. Students are not allowed to use personal electronics in the class room or shop areas as they are very disruptive and present a safety hazard. Please remember the students are working with real tools that can be dangerous if they are distracted. For the safety of all of our students, personal electronics must be safely stored in their book bags or back packs for the full duration of the class.


Q:          How can I reach my child in the event of an emergency?

A:           Please call our front desk at 949-296-2153 and ask to talk to your student. We are happy to retrieve your student or relay a message to them directly.


Q:          How does Urban Workshop’s Youth Program compare to other STEM / STEAM programs?

A:           There really is no comparison. Our classes are truly shop classes that use both traditional tools and modern technology in a real production shop environment. Students use real tools on real projects every class. Yes, there will be cuts, scrapes and splinters along the way, but that is how life really works. Students will be challenged constantly to be problem solvers, pay attention to detail, and be in the moment to ensure safety and maximum enjoyment!


Q:          How much does the Urban Workshop Youth program cost?

A:           Each level of the program costs $800 per student. That applies to the 12 week semester programs as well as the week long summer and winter camps. The price includes all materials, the use of specialized tools as required, and the students get to keep all of the projects they make. So plan ahead and clear off a shelf to display their hard work!


Q:          Can we make monthly payments?

A:          We do require full payment in the form of a check, credit card, or charter school purchase order at the start of the semester to reserve your students place in the program. Using a credit card provides maximum flexibility to pay over time on your schedule.


Q:          Can we use Charter School funds to pay for Urban Workshop Youth Program?

A:           Yes you can. We are an approved vendor to 16 Charter Schools so you can use your state allocated funds to cover the cost of Urban Workshop’s Youth Program. Click on our Charter page so see the list of schools we work with. Click our Charter School payment instruction sheet for additional info. If your school isn’t listed, please let us know and we will submit a vendor application.


Q:          We have several kids in our family. Is there a family discount?

A:           We aren’t able to offer discounts for multiple students as we need to cover the cost of materials, overhead, wear and tear on the equipment, and instructor salaries.


Q:          What happens if we miss a class? Can we make it up and if not will it prevent my student from going to the next level?

A:           We know it happens but, we strongly suggest that you attend all the classes in the series you enrolled in. With hundreds of enrolled students and approximately 40 different class topics each semester, it is impossible for us to schedule make up classes that work for everyone. So we don’t. If a student misses too many classes in a semester they will need to repeat the semester prior to progressing to the next level. We need to be sure each student has learned what we expect of them before we build on it and to ensure the safety of everyone in the classes.


Q:          Is there a dress code for the Youth Program?

A:           Yes. Safety is our top concern and dressing appropriately is your best defense against cuts and scrapes. It is required that students wear long pants, closed toe shoes, and shirts that cover their shoulders. We will provide additional safety gear required for classes that require it such as welding. Also, students must not wear contact lenses as they can be contaminated in the shop or even melt into the eye when welding.


Q:          Can my student use the shop anytime while they are enrolled in the Youth Program?

A:           Unfortunately that is not possible due to insurance regulations. The shop areas at Urban Workshop are available to our makerspace members who subscribe by paying monthly dues, complete all insurance waivers, have completed shop-area specific sign off classes, and are over 18 yeas of age. Our Youth Program students gain access to these areas as part of their participation in the classes and are supervised by our instructors to ensure safety. Once students turn 16 years old, parents can sign waivers granting their child access to the shop as a paying makerspace member. They still need to meet all other makerspace membership requirements.


Q:          Once they graduate from the Youth program, can my kids work on projects with me at Urban Workshop?

A:           Children and young adults (12 to 15 years of age) can work on projects at Urban Workshop under the direct supervision of a parent or guardian if they are included in your membership. Young adults age 16 – 17 can use the shop once their parents have approved and the signed the waivers. Please call and ask about add-on and family memberships.

Many classes at Urban Workshop are open to children and young adults (12 to 15 years of age) when they are taken with their parents or legal guardian. However, due to the inherent risks to the operator there are some tools and machines available at Urban Workshop that kids are not permitted to operate at any time including the milling machines and lathes.

Children under 12 years of age are not permitted to enter the workshop space at Urban Workshop except for during staff guided tours, age-appropriate classes and certain special events.