When I was little, my dad spent time working at McDonnell Douglas in Tulsa. If I remember right, he worked on a lot of different things, but what always excited me the most was that he worked on the engine for the F-15 Eagle fighter jet.
You probably don’t care much about that. I get it. But one day, my dad brought home an IBM PC with a five and half inch floppy that ran MS-DOS. McDonnell Douglas surplussed a bunch of old machines, and my dad was cool enough to buy one for us. I was in heaven. I spent my time building databases and trying to log all of the baseball cards I collected.
I waited until no one was looking, and I took things apart trying to figure out how they worked and then put them back together. A lot of my love for technology can be traced back to that one purchase my dad made. After that, I started fiddling with the VCR and video games and trying to understand how the technology worked.
Fast forward to today, and my entire life revolves around technology. Now, I’m not saying that a career in tech is for everyone, but I think the future holds a lot of opportunities for our kids in the tech industry. Unfortunately, technology has become disposable. You buy a phone, laptop, or a tablet, and when it quits working or someone breaks it, into the trash it goes and we purchase a new one.
A Disposable Culture
What’s missing from today’s culture for our young ones is the ability to really explore technology and learn how it works. They don’t get to spend that time like I did (and maybe some of you reading this) trying things for themselves. I think this hurts our kids, but we have the ability to do something about it.
I know most of you are probably saying "I don’t have the money or personnel to have a makerspace", but the reason I wrote this article is to tell you that you do!
First, what is a makerspace? It’s defined as: “a place in which people with shared interests, especially in computing or technology, can gather to work on projects while sharing ideas, equipment, and knowledge.”
It’s a place where kids can play with technology and see what they can build and what they can do. There are SO MANY solutions and options out there when it comes to makerspaces, but I’m just going to throw out one to get you started. It’s called Raspberry Pi.