Playing with the Snap Circuits Flying Saucer Kit.

Playing with the Snap Circuits Flying Saucer Kit.

Right about the time you’re reading this, a bevy of makers in Sebastopol, Calif., are being sustained by pizza and beer in a warehouse as they burn the midnight oil fulfilling the upswing of makershed.com orders we always see this time of year.

Even last year, when most retailers were feeling the cold sting of recession, the Maker Shed’s orders were up 72% over the prior year. I mention this not as a boast, but rather because we see it as an indicator of a bigger trend taking shape. A making trend.

Not only are people giving gifts they’ve made themselves in greater numbers than ever before, but they’re also touching loved ones with the gift of making, by giving a project kit that enables the recipient to make something of their own. Passing the DIY torch, if you will.

This holiday season, however, I want to challenge our readers to extend the gift of making beyond your friends and family. I want you to consider giving a gift to a school, a science class, a teacher, or maybe an after-school mentor at a school near you. Spread your wings. Become an angel to a teacher or an after-school program.

Regardless of where you live, I’ll bet there’s a school within walking distance that would love to be able to stimulate the minds of students with a good hands-on science project — a DIY electronics kit, a basic laboratory equipment kit, a robot kit, or a Blinkybug. Even a gift of $20 can make for a fun class project.

Here’s my pledge to you. When you place an order with makershed.com and name a school or teacher as the recipient at a bona-fide school address, we’ll take 10% off the entire order. If your order is $250 or greater, we’ll take 15% off the entire order and include The Illustrated Guide to Home Chemistry Experiments as an additional gift. Just enter code “School10” when placing any order under $250 and specify a school and/or teacher at a school address. Enter “School15” if your order is $250 or greater.

Whether you buy from Maker Shed or some other fine supplier, or build it yourself, whether you’re thinking about your own child’s class or don’t even have kids, please consider spreading the maker ethos and spirit to a school or teacher near you.

Special Announcement

We’ve launched the Make: Science Room, a hands-on science destination for backyard scientists and educators with how-tos on setting up a home lab, evaluating and buying equipment and supplies, and doing fun and educational home science experiments.

We’ve also put together amazing bundles of lab equipment, tools, and chemical sets at some outstanding prices. The Maker Shed now carries everything from high-quality microscopes, to all manner of fancy beakers and flasks, to lab aprons and splash goggles. Check out all the how-to science goodness at blog.makezine.com/science_room.

Happy Holidays,
Dan