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Multiple readers have pointed out this recent news item concerning an 11-year old student in San Diego who became the center of a police investigation after bringing his homemade motion sensor to school. Quite frankly, I found it completely heartbreaking.

Like all regrettable incidents, there were of course variables and circumstances at play which we may never fully understand. Instead of responding with bitterness and finger-pointing, I’d like to direct responsive energy into something more constructive by attempting to answer the question; What can we at MAKE & also the greater DIY community do to help inform the public’s understanding of what we do? Particularly, in respect to DIY electronics projects and similar mediums which seem at risk for misinterpretation. Please share any helpful ideas you might have, large or small, by leaving a comment below.

Collin Cunningham

Born, drew a lot, made video, made music on 4-track, then computer, more songwriting, met future wife, went to art school for video major, made websites, toured in a band, worked as web media tech, discovered electronics, taught myself electronics, blogged about DIY electronics, made web videos about electronics and made music for them … and I still do!


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