A scientist friend shared this article from Slate about Maker Faire on her Facebook, and I really loved the concept, but wondered why it had to be only about robots and other mainstream science activities. The exact same thesis as applied to knitters, crocheters, embroiderers, quilters, sewists, and a host of other crafters would fall flat–in fact, has fallen flat, since all of the aforementioned that I know are good evangelists for their work, but it’s always dismissed on the basis of being too much sitting still for active children. Please. Last I checked, there’s an awful lot of sitting still and thinkwork involved in building a working robot, so that isn’t why. And if you want to argue that it isn’t just sitting still because it’s tinkering, you can certainly tinker and socialize with sticks and string. Okay, it’s not everybody’s tinkering, but still. Neither is robotics.
The article is absolutely right that making is an authentic experience and should be done in schools. That place has a former metal shop?! That is a problem. I get itchy when the kind of making is restricted to a narrow view of what is worth making. Authentic experience comes from a lot of different kinds of creative manual activities. You know what I’d love? A room like that with equipment for a lot of different kinds of creative making, and kids can go in for an hour or more every day and choose what they want to do.
We’re on the second month of Cabinet of Curiosities, and it’s getting so interesting (and making me more interested in embroidering than I’ve been in a couple of years). I’m not much of a designer, but it’s exciting to think of picking out my own motifs to put on the outside of my casket. The instructor demonstrated the concept of establishing a pictorial narrative with Star Wars characters! A lot of people are talking about doing more than one casket. I’m not sure I have that many lifetimes left.