What can our community’s youth and young adults create if they have the tools, supplies, equipment, space, connections, guidance, and inspiration to make it happen?
Could they solve an entrenched issue in their neighborhood or launch a new business that employs hundreds? Maybe they could invent a life saving device or build an education application that builds reading skills. With certainty, they can learn that doing things with their hands builds skills they will use in every type of work and throughout life.
The team of entrepreneurs, educators, and community leaders of Youth MAKE Louisville are looking for ways to develop these opportunities for youth and young adults throughout the community. We’re inspired by the Maker Movement, an explosion of resources and events for innovators, creators, tinkerers, and teachers (that means all of us) that was sparked by Louisville’s own Dale Daugherty. The idea behind the Maker Movement is simple:
- Provide a workplace with the tools and equipment to tinker, explore, innovate and create. The supplies and space can be donated or “found”. Workshops can be mobile or permanent, formal or informal. Check out Louisville’s maker space for adults at LVL1.
- Set up challenges for youth to meet or encourage them to build a project of their own design. Participants can look up technical information to complete their project (the Internet knows EVERYTHING), tap into a network of experts or turn to one another for advice.
- Create a collaborative environment by encouraging youth to share their skills with each other. Provide an opportunity for participants to present their project publically at a Louisville’s Mini-Maker Faire or online, so others can learn from them.
The possibilities and the payoffs are endless. Young people who have a space for “making” are more likely to feel confident in their ability to do math and science; they learn how to persist until they find the solution they need; they connect with mentors and employers; and they explore career fields they may not have considered.
For more information on the Youth MAKE Louisville collaboration, see Partners.