When I visited the Children’s Museum of the Ohio Valley for my first site visit there was a day camp at the Museum full of kids from the same school. The kids were used to doing crafts and using materials like glue and tape. I decided to build a bunch of circuit blocks with these kids. I got out most of the woodworking tools along with a lot of the electronics equipment. I told the kids that they were going to help make something for other visitors at the Museum to play with. I think they were mainly excited because they got to use a saw to cut a long piece of wood into a bunch of smaller pieces.
This activity of building circuit blocks is not only a perfect introductory project for any group of aspiring makers it is also a great way to build a sense of community. You are not making something for yourself, instead you are creating something for others to enjoy. This kind of integrated activity really helps set an example of how these tools and materials can be used to create something useful. This activity was also a great way for me to meet a lot of the kids that visit the museum in Wheeling on a regular basis. In the end, we built a bunch battery blocks, motor blocks and even some switches. This was a lot of fun.