Let the Materials do the Talking…Let the Kids Teach.

I have to first give credit to Mandy, Laura and Finn for inpsiring this post.  Thanks guys…

First things first, taking things apart is a lot of fun.  I’ve discussed this idea in previous posts.  To take something apart is to learn how something works; plain and simple.  Using working components from a broken object and repurposing them is such a fun activity.  Those two ideas, taking something apart and repurposing things, are what make a Maker.  At least in my opinion.

We let kids tear apart two broken computers today.  Great fun…We had visitors who were simply learning how to use screwdrivers.  We had visitors who were teaching their children how to ask questions about things.  We had visitors who were working together to find out if a certain motor still worked…We had three visitors, Mandy, Laura and Finn, who simply spent over an hour “Making.”

“Making” is creating something out of something else.  Whether that’s turning thoughts into words or a bunch of old motors into a car.  At no time did we mention the idea of making something out of the giant mess that Take Apart had created.  But these three kids looked around the Shop and saw just the right parts to create something.

Pei, Mandy, Laura, Finn and I spent the next hour or so experimenting, building, testing, refining, taking apart, testing again, etc…But I noticed that the five of us were not only occupying the same space, we had inadvertanly formed a team.  We were working together, discussing what we were doing and asking questions about what the other team members were working on.  Most importantly we were talking about stuff that had nothing to do with the projects.  We talked about school; everyone thought I was lying when I told them that I went to a high school with only eighty students.  It was great fun just talking while we created the projects.

Maybe that’s what the Shop is…A place where older visitors can simply create their own projects.  Its empowering to explore on your own and build something that you designed.  They can have fun…they can learn…they can make.




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