The concept of making can be viewed as a multidimensional phenomenon, ranging from the simple act of turning on the ignition to the complex act of assembling parts into a whole. In a practical sense, the best place to start is with a hands-on learning experience. For example, the maker’s lab in the SFPL offers students the opportunity to experiment with new materials and technologies in a safe environment. This hands-on approach is a great way to encourage students to try out the novel, the new, and the out of left field. Moreover, the maker’s lab encourages students to ask questions, thus stimulating the creative process in a highly gratifying manner.
What are the responsibilities of a maker? A lot of the time, the title of “maker” equates to the person who assembles the parts. This is not an accurate depiction of the actual job entrusted to the maker. Indeed, a more appropriate title would be “maker of things” or even “maker of all things,” because it’s likely that a maker carries with her a wide range of skills and abilities. As a result, a good mix of responsibilities is required.
There is no denying that the flurry of activity associated with the Maker’s Lab has brought about some nifty changes in the city. One of the most significant of these is the emergence of a slew of innovative and disruptive companies. These include the aforementioned SFPL, the Makerspace, TikTok, and a slew of startups. In terms of business, the aforementioned companies have managed to strike a sweet deal in terms of severing their decision-making functions from the Chinese mainland. At the same time, the American car culture has been conjoined by a number of cultural and economic touchpoints. That said, there is still room for improvement, namely the creation of a more equitable and inclusive society.
While it is not exactly new to have a name, the “maker’s” lab has been re-energized with the aforementioned improvements. As a result, a small but mighty team is hard at work making its mark in the Bay Area’s education sphere. Among them is Robbie Torney, a kindergarten teacher at Lighthouse Community Charter School in Oakland, California. To further the maker’s magic, the aforementioned team is in the midst of establishing a 501(c)3 public school, the Lodestar School, which will be based on the principles of a maker’s lab, but with more clout. Its stated mission is to improve the quality of life of disadvantaged and underserved children in its care, while at the same time introducing the millennial generation to new and innovative concepts.
The maker’s lab is the tiniest microcosm of the broader sphere of the city’s educational community. Having an open-door policy and a free-flow of ideas and collaboration is a win-win for the community at large.