Sunday, January 13, 2008

Void your Warranty!

Did you ever have friends who used to take stuff apart?
You know the toaster, the dishwasher, the lawnmower, the TV? I had a cousin who was amazing at this. Jimmy could take anything apart and fix it. And I wish I’d hung out more while he did.

These days with disposable mindsets, we tend not to fix stuff. Or if we want to, don’t know how or where to go to find out. If we didn’t have parents who encouraged deconstructing to build understanding of how things function, then we are likely at a loss.

The other day my daughter kicked my fancy iron off the counter--she was dancing on the island at the time. The iron smashed and Lauren looked glum. “Oh good!” I exclaimed, “Now we can take it apart and see how it works!” Imagine the look on her face.

We need to know how the world around us works. We need to be unafraid to tinker. To explore. To change things up.

When the maintenance man came to fix my dishwasher, he told me that there was no one to take his place when he retires. No one with communication skills who could also tinker with stuff until it worked. This is NOT GOOD. So I got him to agree that if I got some kids in a room with an old dishwasher, he’d let them wield tools and take the sucker apart! And the idea of Tinkering Studio, or whatever we’ll call it, is born!

Saturday I met with some like minded Tinkers--or is it Tinkerers--who want to make it ok for kids to explore the mechanical and technical world around them. I was as excited as a kid with a toy train! We made some progress on where this could and would go.
And soon we’ll be opening a Tinkering Space where kids can come and take stuff apart, build new things out of old things, and generally do what adults get to do in their own workshops. Get curious and busy!

More to follow. It’ll be great!

No comments: