Makers in the Making

Today I came across a TEDxTC (independantly organized TED) video that discusses the questions, “How are makers made? How are the people who are great innovators and engineers, both today and in the past, how do they get there? Do they do things as kids that helped that path?”

AnnMarie Thomas, the Executive Director of the Maker Education Initiative explored these questions by doing lots of reading and conducting interviews with makers of all sorts, and discovered there are some common themes that run through the stories of great innovators…can you guess what they are? (Hint, it does not involve watching the Discovery channel, buying expensive kits, or playing “creativity building games” on a computer or iPad.)

This talk made me feel proud of the work we do at Rowanberry, and very, very excited for the opportunities I have to become a Maker and to support children in their role as a Maker every single day. We take things apart to figure out how they were made. We build with blocks, with scrap wood, with loose parts.  We use real tools. We learn how to make things based on our own designs. We understand that this is more than just good fun, it is a way of looking at the world.  We aim to be folks who do not ask “where can I buy it?”  but rather “How can I make it?”

Special thanks to Portland’s Steve Davee for posting this video over at The Maker Education Initiative and making my day.

Before you shop for any children this holiday season, please be sure to watch this 15 minute video.  You may end up throwing out your whole list.

Video: TEDxTC – AnnMarie Thomas – Making Makers

Tinkering 1

3 tinkering                  


“How are you going to build something if you’ve never taken apart anything?”– AnnMarie ThomasNathanniel


 “There were always tools lying around…you see a wrench, you see a bolt, you start turning it.”

Steve Hoefer, founder Grathio Labs (on how he became a Maker.)