Weekend Watch: Teenager Documents His Projects on “Make With Miles”

Weekend Watch: Teenager Documents His Projects on “Make With Miles”

In one of my recent Tips of the Week columns, I talked about the Feynman Technique for learning. This is when you faux teach yourself what you’re learning (write it down, lecture it out loud) to help reinforce your understanding (and to reveal any holes in your knowledge).

Putting together YouTube project videos serves some of the functions of Feynman learning. I especially think of this when I see young makers running project video channels online. They are learning by teaching and learning a whole slew of skills beyond the project itself. They’re learning project documentation, effective verbal and visual communication, storytelling, video production and editing, marketing and social media networking, and all sorts of other skills.

Miles, from Make With Miles, is one such teen. Miles is a 13 year old maker who likes working in wood, leather, fabric, making his own rubber stamps, boat-building, and making improvements to the family workshop. In one of his videos, he and his dad build a new workbench for Miles, replacing the one that was built for him when he was five.

The videos on Make With Miles are surprisingly well put together. Miles confidently describes the project (or let’s the visuals tell the story), confidently shows the steps involved, and often offers some comments or follow-up at the end. Nice editing and use of music, too. Here are a few of my favorite videos he’s produced so far.

I look forward to seeing what Miles does in the future. And I can’t help but wonder what a young person like this–who’s already so accomplished at 13–what sort of adult he’ll grow into, and how these foundational maker skills will serve him throughout his life. Great job, Miles! So far, Make with Miles only has 434 subscribers. Let’s change that.


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.

View more articles by Gareth Branwyn
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