What Makes a Maker?

● Makers believe that if you can imagine it, you can make it. We see ourselves as more than consumers— we are productive; we are creative. Everyone is a Maker, and our world is what we make it.

● Makers seek out opportunities to learn to do new things, especially through hands-on, DIY (do it yourself) interactions.

● Makers surprise and delight those who see their projects, even though the projects can be a bit rough-edged, messy and, at times, over-stimulating. (Think punk rock.)

● Makers comprise a community of creative and technical people that help one another do better. They are open, inclusive, encouraging and generous in spirit.

● Makers are generally not in it for the money. This isn’t about filing patents or making a profit.

● At the same time, we’re not anti-commercial— Makers sometimes start businesses, and we celebrate that…but we don’t make it a focus as it would change the spirit of the movement.

● Makers celebrate other Makers — what they make, how they make it and the enthusiasm and passion that drives them.

Why Making Matters for Learning

Making is innovative and resourceful. Makers build off the ideas of others and choose the best tools for the job.

Makers are intrinsically motivated. They identify their own challenges and solve new problems. Making provides ample opportunities to deeply understand difficult concepts. Makers seek out STEAM content to improve their projects, and they cross disciplines to achieve their goals, rather than staying within one specialty.

Makers take risks and iterate from “failures” to achieve success. Makers have a growth mindset that leads them to expend the energy to learn. Making fosters character- building traits collectively known as grit, including creativity, curiosity, open-mindedness, persistence, social responsibility, and teamwork, among others.

Makers collaborate and give advice and guidance to their peers. Makers are often more interested in open sharing and exhibition, not competition.

Frankly, we don’t want everyone to be an engineer, but we do want everyone to be able to think like one when they need to do so. We are most interested in developing the physical and mental context that allows people to get started and continue to develop new skills that lead to choosing more challenging projects and more interesting opportunities for themselves in the future.

-Courtesy of our friends at Maker Media