Maker Faire Bay Area 2008

Beginning this summer, the Maker Media team began taking the magic of MAKE on the road — literally. Funded in part by a grant from IBM, we’re converting a 1981 Mercedes fire truck, dubbed the MakeMobile, into a mobile workshop that will pay visits to economically challenged schools in our Northern California backyard. The MakeMobile is equipped with everything we need to inspire students with demonstrations and hands-on workshops in an almost endless variety of science and technology areas — from circuit building and robotics to kites, automata, and mechanical toys.

Our goal is simple: to bring a hands-on DIY experience to kids who often lack sufficient exposure to, and mentoring in, science and technology. We hope to build on this pilot program to inspire and support MakeMobiles and Maker Mentor teams in other communities throughout the world.

The MakeMobile is just one example of how when you subscribe to MAKE you’re doing more than quenching your own thirst for DIY inspiration: you’re supporting a growing constellation of maker communities and educators dedicated to mentoring students of all ages, nationalities, and economic circumstances.

This past year MAKE (and our sister magazine CRAFT) provided financial and promotional support to dozens of educational programs worldwide; from Science Olympiad (soinc.org) and the Tech Challenge (techchallenge.thetech.org), to Vision Ed’s Robofest in New York City (visionedinc.org/robofest) and Education Day at our own Maker Faire (makerfaire.com), where we bused in hundreds of middle school and high school students to drink from the same DIY fountain that inspires the rest of us as MAKE editors, contributors, and subscribers.

It shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone who has read MAKE that we’re primarily a circulation-based magazine. We deeply appreciate the support of our sponsors and advertisers, but by design our primary financial support is from subscribers. This means you won’t find “practically free” subscription offers in an attempt to inflate our rate base for advertisers. We simply can’t keep the quality of the magazine up to our readers’ standards if we do that.

Nonetheless, this spring we introduced a special subsidized teacher’s rate of just $19.95/year when a subscription is delivered to a school address. If you know a school or teacher who might value a gift subscription, we’re happy to extend this special rate to gift-givers as well. We’ve posted details on how to give at makezine.com/school.

The word membership is often overused by companies trying to confer a sense of privilege to their customers. In the case of MAKE, however, your subscription is as much a pledge as a member of the maker community as it is a magazine subscription.

The same goes for our loyal advertisers. You don’t wear your membership badge on your sleeve, but you are tied together by your generosity as well as your curiosity. And for this, we salute you.

Our pledge in return is to continue to seek out and support programs that will spread the passion, spirit, and knowledge of makers through student mentorship and educational programs worldwide.