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“Don’t Be Bored. Do Something”

“Don’t Be Bored.  Do Something”
Joey Hudy at World Maker Faire. Photo by Aaron Fedor/Cognizant Technology Solutions

Joey Hudy’s visit to the White House left a lasting impression on the President. Not only did Joey demonstrate his Extreme Marshmallow Cannon, but he handed out his business card with his own inspiring quote. Here are President Obama’s remarks today from a White House event:

So let me wrap up by saying a few weeks ago I held, right here in this room and in the adjoining room, one of my favorite events and that is the White House Science Fair.  We invited students from a lot of your states and they showcased projects that covered the full range of scientific discovery.

We had a group of kids from Texas, young Latino women, who came from the poorest section of Texas and yet were winning rocket competitions.  And they were so good because they could only afford one rocket, so they couldn’t test them and they had to get it just right.  (Laughter.)  And their parents ran bake sales just so they could travel to these events.

You had a young woman who was from Long Island, had been studying mussels and wanted to be an oceanographer, and won the Intel Science Award while she was homeless.  Her family had lost their home and she was living out of a car and out of her family’s — on her family’s couch, and yet still was able to stay focused and achieve what was just remarkable.

There was a kid — the kid who actually got the most attention was a young man named Joey Hudy of Arizona.  That’s because Joey let me fire off a extreme marshmallow canon.  (Laughter.)  We did it right here in this room.  We shot it from here.  We pumped it up — it almost hit that light.  (Laughter.)  I thought it was a lot of fun.  (Laughter.)  And while the canon was impressive, Joey left a bigger impression because he had already printed out his own business cards — he was 14-years-old.  And he was handing them out to everybody, including me.  (Laughter.)  He’s on our short list for a Cabinet post.  (Laughter.)

Under his name on each card was a simple motto:  “Don’t be bored, do something.”  Don’t be bored, do something.  Don’t be bored, make something.

All across this country there are kids like Joey who are dreaming big, and are doing things and making things.  And we want them to reach those heights.  They’re willing to work hard.  They are willing to dig deep to achieve.  And we’ve got a responsibility to give them a fair shot.  If we do, then I’m absolutely convinced that our future is going to be as bright as all of us want.

So this is going to be something that I want to collaborate with all of you on.  If you’ve got ideas about how we can make our education system work better, I want to hear them today, and Arne Duncan is going to want to hear them for the rest of the time that he’s Education Secretary and the rest of the time I’m President.

So, join me in speaking up about making and what bringing more of it to education might do. Congratulations again to Joey.

Joey Hudy Goes to Washington

8 thoughts on ““Don’t Be Bored. Do Something”

  1. John T says:

    There is just one thing I would add to this, aside from more congratulations for Joey, and that is to ignore the fact this is will come across as a request for US Education (Quite unavoidable given who made the initial call for ideas). Regardless of where you are in the world, if you have ideas on how to improve education, whether it be in schools or local organisations and events (Youth clubs, maker spaces, Maker Faires or similar events etc), please share them. You never know, what you may think would only work in your town, may be of huge benefit else where. Maybe with a bit of effort, all us makers could “fix” education in a couple of years, maybe less!

    1. Gareth Branwyn says:

      Great point, John. Yes, we don’t want to restrict the discussion to the US education system or necessarily formal education in general. If the maker movement has taught us anything it’s that resonant educational experiences can happen far beyond formal edu, in local clubs and orgs, hackerspaces, museum programs, through home schooling, and far beyond. And we’re seeing the impact of bringing making into formal educational settings, such as Project: Make with Analy H.S. and our upcoming Makerspaces program.

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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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