Sunday, June 5, 2011

Making Things at the Library Helps Build Skills

Wired has a terrific article about the value of kids making things and getting creative, and how this gives them advantages going into the future. The article focuses on Maker Faire a celebration of creativity and ingenuity that takes place in San Mateo, California.

Want Kids to Win the Future? Turn Them Into Makers — and Sci-Fi Fans
By Angela Watercutter
“If you look at [Steve] Jobs and [Steve] Wozniak, they were makers,” Bushnell said in a phone interview with “The more we can turn the nation into a nation of makers, they will be smarter, they’ll be better problem-solvers, and they’ll be more equipped for the problems of tomorrow.” ... “When I hired engineers and people on the creative side, I never looked at their grades,” he said, referring to the teams he built at Atari and beyond. “I interviewed them strictly on their hobbies, and if they did not have a hobby in technology I wouldn’t hire them….

How can we introduce teens to new interests and hobbies? Alas, there is not such a fair for the Seattle area yet (there is a mini-one in Kitsap County today...with some good ideas to borrow too), but this is something libraries definitely be able to provide for kids and teens.

I love the idea of stealing many of their program ideas and doing them in our libraries. Already our kids librarians are doing more with Legos. Should the their be Teen sets too? Would teens come to a program on LED projects beyond throwies? What about musical bots? A modified Xbox360 controller? Or maybe an Extreme Marshmallow Cannon? For more ideas, check out the Makers Faire program guide here.


Joe said...

Hi. I'm the inventor of the Extreme Marshmallow Cannon. Maker Faire is Awesome!

Joe said...

Hi. I'm the inventor of the Extreme Marshmallow Cannon. Maker Faire is so fun!