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"We may hold children in our hands, but they hold our future in theirs" -Joe Rabideau

Melissa Rabideau

Our Mission


Founder, Melissa Rabideau

Join me on a transformative journey of discovery, creation, and innovation. No need for previous knowledge. No need to be perfect. We encourage the pursuit of originality. Unlock your imagination. Enjoy the freedom of choice. Celebrate the process.

Basset Hound drinking from a Poochie Bowl.

It Began with a Dog Bowl

Inspired by her father, Joe Rabideau, and his invention of The Poochie Bowl, tinkrLAB™ founder Melissa Rabideau saw the importance of supporting inventors and encouraging them from a young age. Realizing that there were no other businesses that offered the support young inventors needed, Melissa and her father Joe opened the doors to tinkrLAB in 2014 at the Meridian Mall in Okemos, Michigan.

tinkrLAB was founded with the basic principle of experimentation. Melissa feels this philosophy is so important with the youthful generation who often receive a very different message. Many kids feel comfort in waiting until they feel “qualified” to try something new. This hesitancy can sometimes mean you might never try at all. ​At tinkrLAB, we like to break things and make messes!  We have created a safe space for kids to be who they want to be, to experiment and share knowledge and teach their friends! 

Child holding toy food

What We Teach

It’s fair to say that many future jobs for today’s youth don’t exist yet. So how do you train for something that doesn’t exist?


With self-learning and self-discovery. We teach how to learn, not what to learn; how to discover, not what to discover.


With these skills, kids can create their own future with more confidence.​

Group photo of children at tinkrCAMP.

Our Hope

When you visit tinkrLAB™, we hope you feel the sense of community we have worked hard to create.​


Children are like sponges and their only job is to learn, to observe, and to build. Here, you'll find a place where creative thinking is encouraged, and STEAM-powered brains lead to collaboration.

We are working to train a generation to think with focus and passion. We desire for our tinkrKIDS to succeed in incredible ways, and maybe someday solve some of the biggest issues our entire planet has ever faced.

What people are saying:

I cannot say enough GREAT things about Tinkrlab.

We have had two birthday parties here and both were SPECTACULAR. So smoothly run and just amazing.

Tinkrlab is such an innovative, inclusive place. They offer a wide variety of classes and have an incredible retail area. Do not miss this amazing place. it is just what the smart kids in Lansing area need and deserve!

A really fun place to go on a rainy day when you have small kids. I appreciate that the play area is fenced in and all of the toys are in good condition. It's nice to have a fun place to go that doesn't involve screens.

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