Thursday, July 22, 2010

Maker Faire

I will be at the Detroit Maker Faire on Saturday July 31 as part of my participation in a hands-on learning conference. The photo above is of a project by Maker Faire participant Tom Wilson.

The key to economic renewal in the US is for us to begin making things again, so being in Detroit, which has suffered from our failure to comprehend the relationship between creativity and human culture will be a great thing. Yesterday was the last session of Pee Wee Science for this summer at our Carnegie Public Library. The children, ages 3-6 made mobiles representing the water cycle. For most children, this was a first. Kids don't make things in their homes anymore. Mothers are involved with personal electronic devices, keeping up with friends on facebook. Dads are busy gaming in their spare time instead of tinkering with stuff.

Making is the foundation of scientific exploration and provides the starting point for engagement in science education. By making, we learn the qualities inherent in the structure of life. Without making, we become a nation of idiot consumers, and it is a matter quite easy to fix. Buy some craft supplies and get busy. Paper and Scissors won't push you over budget, and will pay dividends beyond measure. If you can afford it, buy string. It can add endless hours of fun. If you are old enough to be trusted with a knife, find a stick and whittle up some wood chips. It might lead to something you would never expect.

Makers Faires are celebrations of our impulse to fix and make and are associated with Make Magazine.As you can see the photo below, I am catching up from yesterday's faulty memory card, and am relieved that the problem was not with the camera. I now have the step-by-step photography completed for making doors using bridle joints.

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