A couple kernel developers (+Greg Kroah-Hartman
and +Darren Hart
) have asked me about resources for kids to get involved with either programming or electronics. I'm not a parent myself, but I am aware of a couple different projects.
I first learned about "squishy circuits" from this Ted talk on making conductive and non-conductive play dough:http://www.ted.com/talks/annmarie_thomas_squishy_circuits?language=en
Apparently there's now a book as well:http://www.amazon.com/Squishy-Circuits-Century-Innovation-Library/dp/1631377957
The same author +AnnMarie Thomas
paired up with Leah Buechley, the creator of the Lilypad (a sewable Arduino used in wearables) to write a book called "Making Makers", on getting kids involved with electronics crafts:http://shop.oreilly.com/product/0636920031949.do
There's a TEDx talk with the same title:Making Makers: AnnMarie Thomas at TEDxTC
As an aside, the "One Screwdriver Per Child" suggestion reminded me of +Leslie Hawthorn
's post "My Nerd Story: What You Say to Young Girls Matters":http://www.linux.com/community/blogs/127-personal/758147-my-nerd-story-what-you-say-to-young-girls-matters
As a child, I always had access to my dad's tools and my mother's art supplies. One weekend I would be using the hacksaw to cut branches for my fort in the woods, and the next weekend I would be sculpting with Fimo. My grandpa gave me a pocket knife for my 12th birthday, and I happily whittled away (even after badly cutting myself a couple times). In high school, I took a class to build functioning computers out of donated parts and machines. I was never told not to take things apart or tinker with things. Both parents were strong creators, and I was encouraged to make things. The freedom to create, to tinker, to learn and discover, has helped make me who I am today.
How will you make a maker?