Interview with a Maker

James from the OSH Park Booth at #iPDX16

Photo of Rachel Stagner
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James makes circuit boards

He likes to do this because it gets him to flex his creativity

He likes to see others with new ideas, solving problems that he had never even considered

One of their customers is a neuroscience lab - figuring out how temperature affects mice was one of their 

They manufacture other people's ideas, most of the time they see what other people have ordered and say… wow that’s really cool, or “wow, why did they think that would work?”

Only considered himself a maker for the last five years.  Everything is new, remembers taking things apart as a kid, taking parts and storing them.  Thinking back… wow so many things I could have done.  

One things he’s made that’s he’s really proud of (see the photo):

Purple compass hat - digital compass, with arduino compatible board when facing north, it buzzes (!)

His inspiration:  read an article about a guy who did something like this with a belt and he really got a great sense of direction from doing it.  So he wanted to mimic it.  He’s made a 3rd iteration now.  

People just want to make it themselves, just to see how things work.  

Have you ever made something for someone else?  No.

Background is in Computer Science - learned about arduino and then that’s all he wanted to do.  

One really interesting observation about him… he didn’t really consider himself a maker.  When we told him what we were doing he said, “well, I’m not really a maker, I just help people make things.”  But, when we probed a little deeper with our questions, he actually pulled out one of the things he’s made.  See the picture!

One of the insights from this was the language of "maker" was a barrier to him, and also to us as a group when we came in.   How can we help our students overcome this barrier to thinking of themselves as makers or designers?

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Photo of Chris

James is awesome!