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Teaching others about the maker movement Answered

I am conducting a session about the DIY movement and resurgence in crafting at a conference in a few days.  I tend to be a pretty off-the-cuff speaker but thought i'd solicit some input from this community.

Specifically, I'll be addressing professionals that could be using this information in providing community programs along these lines - imagine the local community Parks and Recreation Department doing a class on Arduinos or soft circuits...

Any resources you think I should be pointing them to?  Compelling reasons for turning the public on to this movement?



7 years ago

You may have seen this but, "Craft In America" is a great 5 series program PBS put on. http://video.pbs.org/program/1235387271/ The episodes I saw mostly covered the traditional crafts that we all brought to this country. Then we fell back on them as we settled here in America, and past them on to our children. Now, they are priceless pieces of art and few of us know how to make them. I get this from looking at the link I sent realizing I only watched 2 in the series..... I think I'm going to watch the other 3 now! GOOD LUCK, your doing a good thing.

Oh, yeah. Get in touch with Mark Frauenfelder at MAKE, explain what you're going to be doing, and see if you can get a couple dozen back issues to give out to officials. Point out (in your talk) that this is a paid subscription magazine with a broad readership.

Obviously, the quote from Obama's inauguration speech belongs in your second slide :-)

Pointing to existing hackerspaces and public art collectives would be great. Here in the Bay Area, right off the top of my head there's The Tech Shop (Menlo Park), The Sawdust Shop (San Jose), Public Glass (San Francisco), and The Crucible (Berkeley), each of which has a different focus. You should try to reference such spaces in your local area, in addition to "big" ones that are more remote.

If you're talking to public officials, then cost is going to be a major issue. Advocating for programs where the participants are supplied with materials and equipment is a non-starter. So identifying low- or no-cost projects, programs which reuse or repurpose found objects and materials, is probably going to be more successful, than talking about what people could do with a fully-equipped machine shop.

Programs for children and youth tend to be better received, and more likely to get the soft, squishy support, than programs for geeks (after all, if we can afford to buy the latest iPhone every six months, why do we need a community program?). Emphasizing, or pointing out, the educational aspect of DIY can help with that focus.

This sounds like a great opportunity for you; good luck!