Making Makers: Kids, Tools, and the Future of Innovation
Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub
This is a book for parents and other educators—both formal and informal, who are curious about the intersections of learning and making. Through stories, research, and data, it builds the case for why it is crucial to encourage today’s youth to be makers—to see the world as something they are actively helping to create. For those who are new to the Maker Movement, some history and introduction is given as well as practical advice for getting kids started in making. For those who are already familiar with the Maker Movement, this book provides biographical information about many of the “big names” and unsung heroes of the Maker Movement while also highlighting many of the attributes that make this a movement that so many people are passionate about.
By the end of middle school, Eric had progressed with a group of friends from role-playing games, with rulebooks and dice, to a game focused on storytelling: the collaborative creation of a fantasy world. They made maps and illustrations, lit candles, and built props from cardboard, wood, and wax. Of course this was all done while hidden away in a basement, away from the eyes of their peers, because it wasn’t cool. These secret basement story games played a crucial role in developing Eric’s
their butter knives to this role, telling her mother and sister that “this is a tool. We’re not going to use it to spread butter or anything.” Later, she added a small steak knife to her toolbox. Telling me these stories, she starts laughing, “Oh my god. Why was I using the utensils? I would walk around the house and find something that works.” Luz identifies that kind of creativity and improvisation as a sign of a maker. To her, a maker is “anybody that has an idea and uses the tools around
Movement is one that recognizes, and rewards, skill and persistence, regardless of age. I attended Maker Faire Bay Area, the “big Maker Faire,” for the first time in 2012 and was particularly impressed by young makers (some as young as 10 or 11) who were designing their own projects or even, in one case, 62 | MAKING MAKERS starting their own company. At an age where many kids aren’t allowed to stay home alone, these young makers were being encouraged to reach out and find mentors and
Rather than “celebrate failure” or “fail fast,” I use “prototype early,” “try lots of things and experiment,” “learn from your iterations,” “try something!” and things to that effect. These words are also more in line with what I see among makers. One of the great things about Maker Faires is that they aren’t competitions. There isn’t a loser, or a grade. This frees exhibitors from pressure to have things perfect, or even finished, before showing them. Some of the richest conversations at the
cofounded the Computer Clubhouse project, an international network of 100 afterschool learning centers where youth from low-income communities learn to express themselves creatively with new technologies. Resnick earned a B.S. in physics from Princeton, and an M.S. and Ph.D. in computer science from MIT. He was awarded the McGraw Prize in Education in 2011. Luz Rivas started her career at Motorola, where she was an electrical design engineer working on position and navigation systems for the