Why the maker movement is so important

Here’s a quote from Keith that summarizes this succinctly:

Re: Repairing plastics, etc.

Truer words have never been spoken!

Though others may disagree, I have made a particular point of, (at least trying to), get my granddaughters involved when I repair something.

i want them, (and their father, if possible), to understand that repairs are possible, and that tols are not dangerous if handled properly.

Even if you ultimately decide to have someone else repair something, knowing how it works, and how to repair it is important.

IMHO the maker movement allows people of any age, (beyond about 3 or 4), to understand what things are, how they work, and how to make them work.

Also IMHO, this is an invaluable skill and should rank up there with “the three R’s”  (Reading, Writing, and Arithmetic, populary pronounced as "reading, 'riting, and 'rithmetic.)

This is something that should be really reinforced in US education.  Here in Russia, they have an annual “Science Olympics” for all grades.  Students are encouraged to enter some kind of scienece/mathematics based research - kind of like the “science fairs” of days gone by.

Instead of bickering about vaccinations, (or other nonsense), we should REALLY be emphasizing quality education like was done in the '60’s during the “space race”

IMHO, if we really want to “Make America Great Again”, instead of bickering about partisan politics, we should be emphasizing how WE can do it instead of shipping everything off to the Chinese.

I remember reading an article a few years ago that said, (in essence),

I constantly tell my granddaughters that their mantra should be: “Я могу это сделать самостоятельно!”  (I can do it myself!)

What say ye?


I’m a huge fan of the maker movement. And agree that it’s non-partisan. It also starts getting into the “right to repair” movement - making things easier to repair. This helps not only individuals to fix their own stuff, but allows local businesses to spring up which can do repairs that an individual might not be able to. This leads to more reuse (and potentially up-cycling) with less environmental waste. Not to mention the satisfaction one can derive from making or repairing things (so a lot of positive mental health benefits). It does take education, as well as an appreciation that acquiring new skills has a learning curve (very little instant gratification). And of course it does eat into the profits of companies that like selling disposable goods, which are great for their bottom lines).


When I was a kid, “right to repair” wasn’t even a thing - it was considered an “inalienable right” not worth mentioning because it was so obvious.

The big problem is that commodities have become so inexpensive that it isn’t economical to repair, the replacement cost is less than the repair cost.

Bigger ticket items, like cars and such, should absolutely be available for repair.

Did you know that “right to repair” is at the core of a huge farm crisis in the States?

Farmers buy the big, expensive, farm equipment and the only people allowed to repair it are the “factory repair guys”.

Since farming can be very time sensitive, (make hay while the sun shines), if you have a fancy tractor or combine down, and the repair guy can’t get to you right away, you’re screwed. To get the guy “right away” you pay both of your oldest children in “emergency repair” charges.

The result is that farmers end up “illegally” hacking their farm equipment so they can get it running!


Not to detract from the important subject of “educating makers”, but critical thinking about what people say is also important in our discourse.

The approximate cost of an F-18 jet: $67 million
The Approximate cost of a single F-35: $80 Million
Approximate number of school age students: 77 Million

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Using the F18, at 67 million each, doing the division, it comes out to about $870,000 per student. If we assume a fully tricked-out Alienware beast is $2,000 (actually, that’s high, but let’s use that number), that leaves $868,000 per student to help trick out a school technology lab and hire a competent instructor.

Today’s schools, (in the US), have to just about sell their bodies on the street to afford football jerseys and band uniforms.  Getting competent instructors and teaching realistically useful classes?  Fuggeddaboutit!

Parents would rather fuss at schools than teach their kids how to behave like human beings at home.

I remember an article, (perhaps this one?), where a teacher was talking about how difficult it was to get the parents of students on board without a lawyer, and it makes me sick.

There’s even an entire sub-reddit on “Entitled Parents”.

Whatever happened to kindergarten and playing nice in the sandbox?

We could so we’ll fund education only if the ( :face_with_symbols_over_mouth:-ing) politicians would keep their hands outta the cookie jar.


So one less F-18 at 67 million divided by 77 million students frees up 87 cents by my calculation.

Your point was to invest in the kids - good stream. I’m just being pedantic about the discussion. Sorry.


Never could do arithmetic in my head.
:roll_eyes: :crazy_face:


Count me in with you on that one - especially teaching around making things with 3D printers and laser cutters. The kids learn about creating press-fit fastening, strengthening shapes, material economy, dimensioning for various needs, and so much more.

(Where is a whiz-kid with a 3D printer right now to make Dave some running shorts!)


My wife grew up on a dairy farm in Ireland. Visiting her family farm was my first real exposure to the fact that farmers have to be very versatile in making repairs on all sorts of equipment - they have to be.


Way, way back when the earth was green. . .

I remember how amateur radio and electronics was “cool” back when I was a kid.

You’d come to school with some home-brew transistor jigger in your pocket and you got instant respect.

Of course the all-time favorite was the “gotcha!” box - a metal box with a flashlight cell, a relaxation oscillator, and a filament transformer with the primary wired to the two halves of the metal box. Since the two parts of the box were insulated with transparent tape, if you accidentally touched both metal parts at once, Zap! It “gotcha!”

Great prank.

Even better learning aid and introduction to good 'ole Mr. Henry.

Radio-Shack was KING.

Popular Electronics and similar magazines were our Bible and Penthouse rolled into one.

A Heathkit? That was a gift from the GODS!

You had your ham ticket? You were a God to the rest of us poor sods who dreamed of getting our ticket while we clutched our cherished copy of the latest ARRL annual publication to our breasts.

Sigh. . . .

I’m glad to see that this spirit of exploration and scientific adventure seems to be coming back.

I hope it sticks around.

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That one got me sent to the principal.

WB0ZJJ - Current Amateur Advanced for over 45 years


I got bagged for that one during class, not even my box!, and as punishment the teacher offered me the choice:

  1. Go to the principal and get detention.
  2. Stand up in front of the class and teach the class how it works.

Silly teacher!

I taught a session on inductive reactance and introduced the class to Mr. Henry.

Got total props from both the teacher and the class for both my sheer brass-and-balls and my knowledge of the subject.

Heh heh heh!

My hat’s off to you!


Second that - getting a ham license has been on my “to do” list for decades. Just one of those things I’ve never gotten around to.