Our Science Galaxy team is all about Do It Yourself (DIY) projects: From building electromagnets, engineering Makey Makey electric circuits with fruit and Play-Doh, to testing the forces of gravity at our Egg Drop station at the 2017 STEAM Fest – we’ve engaged almost 20,000 people with DIY projects since 2016.
You don’t have to be a science geek or engineer to indulge in the wonders of DIY fun. DIY projects are a great way of connecting with the inner inventor that resides in all of us. As kids, we learn by creating and playing. As adults, we need to remind ourselves of the benefits of leaving our safe zone to allow ourselves to create and build something from scratch.
Mark Frauenfelder, editor in chief of MAKE magazine, and author of “Made by Hand: My Adventures in the World of Do-It-Yourself”, argues that DIY projects encourage us to make mistakes and to shift our perception around failing. He proposes several benefits to DIY undertakings including the opportunity to use our hands and brain and building strong connections to other people and the world around us.
The DIY community prides itself in sharing their creations and has grown rapidly around the world. MAKE launched the Bay Area’s Maker Faire in 2006. The celebrated event now attracts 200,000+ DIY fans and is known to be the “Greatest Show (and Tell) on Earth” with additional events happening in New York, Tokyo, Oslo – just to name a few top DIYer destinations.
Maybe the most important lesson we can learn from DIY is that making your design ideas a reality will offer a unique perspective on enhancing your daily life: The things you create with your own hands will hold a special place in your life. You appreciate them in a different way since you know how challenging and time-consuming it can be to build something from scratch. You will also understand how testing your ideas will lead to new questions and ideas – a process that is at the heart of scientific discovery and innovation!
So, seize this summer for some hands-on tinkering and explorations in building something or finding a solution to a problem:
Explore a TED Talk on easy DIY projects for kids. Or check out Popular Mechanics, who just announced their favorite “2017 How To” projects including Transformer Picnic Tables. Looking for more DIY inspirations? The DIY & Craft section on Pinterest is super fun.
Author: Vanessa Schatz