The Wherewithal to Change Things Through Making

Education Makerspace
Amy Zell on Make:cast

I’d like you to meet Amy Zell – mother, librarian, grief counselor, and maker. In this episode, she talks about the power of making to change things, to change people. She credits Casey Shea, a Sonoma County maker educator, with telling her about “maker empowerment” at the Fab Institute in Pittsburgh in 2018. She understood “maker empowerment” to mean the wherewithal to change things through making, and she applied it to her own life to move forward after suffering the loss of her son. Now she works with others who have experienced loss and trauma and she is weaving making into mental health practices. Frankly, I don’t want to summarize her story here because you should really hear it from her.

I can’t think of a better way to explain to educators and parents how making changes lives than to hear Amy tell her moving story. For this conversation with Amy Zell, which took place this summer, I was joined by Casey Shea.

Here are some photos from Amy’s project:

Discuss this article with the rest of the community on our Discord server!

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.

View more articles by Dale Dougherty