On Wednesday, President Obama hosted the White House’s first Maker Faire, where he played with a 17-foot robotic giraffe and a 3D pancake printer. Obama said he hoped reviving the spirit of making stuff by hand would help spur manufacturing and innovation in America. The first Maker Faire was held in the Bay Area in 2006, founded by Dale Dougherty. Dougherty joins us in-studio to talk about the future of the Maker Movement as part of Forum’s First Person series profiling Bay Area innovators and leaders who make our region unique.

Dale Dougherty, founder of the Maker Faire, editor of MAKE magazine and co-founder of O'Reilly Media

  • Guest

    In the past there were always technology-related clubs hosted at universities and schools, but the Maker Faire franchise seems to want to expand like Starbucks, installing itself in every city that it can. Is it healthy to have one corporation take over what had formerly been organized by common people? Does everything have to have a price tag on it and a marketing campaign associated with it? And are corporate sponsorships actually a good thing? What if corporate representatives are stealing the good ideas they encounter at maker fairs?

  • Fay Nissenbaum

    Please explain Arduino. So many maker faire projects tout arduino and it confuzzles me as to what exactly is done with it.

  • Fay Nissenbaum

    Think about all the furniture that has to be assembled. Perfect teaching moment to teach kids how screws and wood fit together. I call it a “tool sense” to be able to reason how parts are screwed and bolted together. So you dont have to build things from scratch to be a maker… putting together an Ikea desk or bookcase can be very instructional.

  • Amy

    For parents looking for an after school program to provide experiential learning they should look to their local 4H club. There are 14 clubs in Alameda County where kids can learn sewing, cooking, robotics, and more. 4Hers are the original DIYers. It’s more than just animals. The motto for 100 years has been: Learn By Doing. In fact, there will be Make It Take It booths at the County Fair. Don’t think 4H is only about animals although there are certainly merits to that activity too. Most kids who start 4H when they are 5 or 6 or even 9 or 10 will stay through till 18.

  • Commnt8r

    Are you familiar with biomimicry? It’s a natural part of the maker ‘movement’ and great portal to STEM education through biology – with the added bonus of getting kids outside to observe how nature functions. Would humans have ever tried to fly if they hadn’t seen birds and insects in the air? – Diana Lee, Berkeley

  • Amy

    Just wanted to give a shout-out to BlueStamp Engineering, a summer program for high school students who want to learn to build things and learn from entrepreneurs. This program operates in SF, NYC and Houston, TX. http://bluestampengineering.com/

  • Listening to you on KQED! One of three daughters in a no-son family. Was a ballerina, figure-skating girl all the way. Until I became the single mom of a boy. And was never so grateful for the hours and hours of helping my do-it-yourself Dad! And I have loved the exercise and satisfaction that comes from the physical labor of fixing and/or producing something. Now my son is 16 and a natural.

  • Dara

    My 7-year-old daughter loves science and math, and is curious and loves to solve problems because Maker is part of the curriculum at her school (Park Day School in Oakland, Ca.). She’s a confident learner because of it. Park Day also hosts one of the largest Mini Maker Faires. The 2014 East Bay Mini Maker Faire is Sat., Oct. 19. http://www.ebmakerfaire.com.

  • Loved the program today and as a an engineer, and Mother of two, I began an after school/Summer Camp STEAM program because of the lack of a dedicated program in my public school system. I teach coding for half of the day and hands-on science the other half with a maker space-like environment in my garage. Communities can get involved to do a back-to-school STEAM camp for underprivileged kids but it requires dedicated parents and perhaps the local school to provide a campus for the learning. http://www.ScienceMattersHQ.com and http://bullisboosterscamp.org/ are ways in which to get your kids up to speed with today’s fast-paced tech challenges.

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