President Obama, a maker?

Watching President Obama’s speech on Inauguration Day, I had a strange experience of cognitive dissonance as he uttered the above quote. My word, I thought, could he be aware of MAKE and the maker movement?

Either way, he’s definitely speaking our language, and that passage and the general tone of his speech, his call to remake America, served as part of the inspiration for this year’s Maker Faire and the theme of the forthcoming issue of MAKE.

Today, he did it again. We just got this email from MAKE Senior Editor Phil Torrone saying:

We interrupt this MAKEcation to bring you the following message from the President..

“…think about new and creative ways to engage young people in science and engineering, like science festivals, robotics competitions, and fairs that encourage young people to create, build, and invent — to be makers of things, not just consumers of things.”

It’s like he’s writing our editorial copy!

Dear Mr. President and First Family, please come to the Maker Faire, May 30-31, San Mateo, CA. We promise you’ll be inspired by what you see, hundreds of people, of all ages, doing amazing and innovative backyard science, technology, arts and crafts, people who aren’t just sitting around waiting for instructions, but who’ve rolled up their sleeves and are “remaking America.” Join us!

In National Academy of Sciences Speech, President Obama Announces Major Investments in Research and Education, Encourages NAS Members to Think About New Ways to Engage Young People in Science


Gareth Branwyn is a freelance writer and the former Editorial Director of Maker Media. He is the author or editor of over a dozen books on technology, DIY, and geek culture. He is currently a contributor to Boing Boing, Wink Books, and Wink Fun. And he has a new best-of writing collection and “lazy man’s memoir,” called Borg Like Me.

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