College programs for young makers?


I had an email today from a reader, Kent Weakley, asking about maker-friendly colleges for his son.

My thirteen year old is crazy about Make magazine and all the great podcasts. He loves inventing and creating. Quick question – what are some good colleges that can help nurture the creative, innovative spirit of an inventor??? And what are some of the schools staff members, etc. of Make have attended? Thank you for your help!

What recommendations would you give this dad for his child? If you’re in a college program today, let us know what you think. If you’re a recent graduate, would you recommend the program to another young maker?

I wonder how much of a role college (or school in general) has played in the development of makers. Without prejudicing the answer, my own sense is that the formative development of makers has happened outside of school. But I’d like to hear whether college programs helped you improve your skills and stimulated your own development as a maker.

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DALE DOUGHERTY is the leading advocate of the Maker Movement. He founded Make: Magazine 2005, which first used the term “makers” to describe people who enjoyed “hands-on” work and play. He started Maker Faire in the San Francisco Bay Area in 2006, and this event has spread to nearly 200 locations in 40 countries, with over 1.5M attendees annually. He is President of Make:Community, which produces Make: and Maker Faire.

In 2011 Dougherty was honored at the White House as a “Champion of Change” through an initiative that honors Americans who are “doing extraordinary things in their communities to out-innovate, out-educate and out-build the rest of the world.” At the 2014 White House Maker Faire he was introduced by President Obama as an American innovator making significant contributions to the fields of education and business. He believes that the Maker Movement has the potential to transform the educational experience of students and introduce them to the practice of innovation through play and tinkering.

Dougherty is the author of “Free to Make: How the Maker Movement Is Changing our Jobs, Schools and Minds” with Adriane Conrad. He is co-author of "Maker City: A Practical Guide for Reinventing American Cities" with Peter Hirshberg and Marcia Kadanoff.

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