March 8, 2012 by Alex Hoekstra
Since July of 2011, I’ve been a fan of what could accurately be called The Maker Movement. July brought the annual Maker Faire to Detroit’s Henry Ford Museum – it was my first introduction to the world of “The Makers”, and it was a good one. There’s no single definition of a maker. You’re a maker and so am I. Some of us maker more than others, but most of us all make. Makers, though, are passionate about creation. They build, they tinker, toy, scrap, solder, weld, program and they love go-carts, goggles and fire-breathing robot ponies. I was impressed. The do-it-yourself, grassroots, hack, tinker and build mentality of bringing your wildest (and maybe sometimes most irresponsible) fantasies to life was enough to wet my appetite. I saw something special taking place – something that was letting thinkers become creators, doers, inventors and mad scientists.
It’s no surprise that Kickstarter has seen its share of maker-driven projects – it’s an ideal platform for getting the kind of support a crazy idea needs in order to come to life. Today’s project, though, is something extraordinary, even by maker standards. It’s bringing this movement and giving the power to craft and create with easy and affordability to some of the most creative people in society: kids.
With your help, we’ll find and outfit a delivery truck with cutting-edge maker tools and software (like laser cutters, 3D printers, and hand tools) and drive from school to school bringing teachers and students the resources and equipment they need to create engaging, educational activities. We’ll use our expertise in making, education and technology to help teachers come up with creative ways to teach their curriculum, and enable them to bring more excitement into their classrooms.
As a kid who loves his LEGOs, I can tell you firsthand how magical it is to be able to build whatever comes to mind, and when your mind is as open as a child’s, I expect a whole new universe to open up wherever the SparkLab team parks.
A mobile Make-Lab built to let kids’ imaginations run wild and take shape that will bring 3D-Printers and laser cutters to little Teslas in the classroom, teaching kids that that even little hands can bring big ideas to life – this project is delivering an extraordinary lesson where it’s needed most. Get in on the movement and help support the makers of tomorrow by backing SparkLab on Kickstarter before March 24.