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Crafting, Computers, and the Physical World

Crafting, Computers, and the Physical World

I read this article on NPR this morning.  I am especially intrigued by the positive spin on the word "hack," since it is typically associated with negative activity.  Via DIY.org, "hack" is living up to its alternate meaning of troubleshooting and figuring out problems.  Perhaps, this is the beginning of a new computer subculture.

Below is a preview of the article, but click on the link to read the full article:

http://www.npr.org/2012/12/23/167285991/with-growth-of-hacker-scouting-m...

 

 

Crafting, Computers And The Physical World

Chris Cook, one of the parents active in organizing the Hacker Scouts, serves as president of the hacker space where the Scouts meet. He says the group has expressly targeted kids between the ages of 8 to 14.

"It's old enough where they're ready to start developing skills, [but] they're not so old that they've already been set in their ways," Cook says, "and they're more interested in what their peer groups are doing."

"So, we felt it's the right kind of time to expose them to how to craft with their hands — how to take things from a computer and put them into the physical world," Cook says.

 

 

* Image is from DIY.org via NPR

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1 comment

I read the article and have explored DIY.org.  In our home town we have a Young Makers club (www.LMYoungMakers.com) and we have over 60 kids participating, including 1 group of 12 girls - ages range from 9 to 15 and the kids decide on the projects they are interested in.  They have fabulous teachers (from HTINK) and definately are doing some good "hacking" - meaning opening up something that has electronics or motors and repurposing/reprogramming it. Thet have learned to solder and build circuits and use Arduino components.  DIY.org is wonderful because of the range of projects and I think for some kids the feeling of getting a badge for accomplishing 3 projects feels very rewarding. 

Our group features much collaboration and feedback and a lot of the fun is just trying to figure out what will work or not - whether it is usng programming, differnt components sensors etc.  They have built such things as an automatic dog feeder, a traffic light (for the school hallway), an automaic nerf gun, music playing electronics, 3-D printed items etc.. Soon some kids will be building custom robots for environmental research too. it is very self-directed and quite impressive to see young teens so eager to spend  2 hours on Fridays nights being "Makers"!    Being curious and not afraid to take risks - asking what if any why not try it - all are beneficial to this type of inter-disciplinary, project-based learning.

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