Maker Faire: Mad science for the masses


Maker Faire: Mad science for the masses @ CSMonitor.com.

Maker Faire: Mad science for the masses – Maker Faire mixes youthful enterprise with accessible tech. Now more than ever, it’s kids doing the mad science.

“Radio Shack is stocking Arduinos, Autodesk bought Instructables, and teens are flocking to local Hackerspaces to learn how to create their own gear. Wired GeekDad David Giancaspro thinks the desire to create things is natural. ‘As we’ve moved further and further away from that, towards what people call “knowledge work,” as opposed to producing something physical, that urge is starting to come back,’ he says.”

…As more makers spread their wings, corporate America is starting to take notice.

RadioShack used to be a local hangout for young electronics geeks looking for parts or advice, but in recent years the company has pushed away from do-it-yourself projects and toward consumer electronics. Now, RadioShack has signaled a move back toward the DIY community, releasing a survey to ask makers what parts they’d like to see for sale. And this fall, all RadioShack stores will start stocking Arduino hardware, according to Amy Shineman, the retailer’s director of consumer and product marketing.

“We miss having the consumer group in our stores,” she says. “We feel like they’re an audience that is being underserved.”

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  1. The last time I visited a local Radio Shack and asked for an electronic component the clerk said they didn’t know what I was talking about and replied..”Nobody makes electronics stuff any more”…I promptly left and was not really surprised…the profit margin is in cell phones and other consumer junk. This is a feeble attempt to get the electronics enthusiast to purchase perhaps a new cell phone on his way to buy an Arduino…

  2. @neutron spin – depends on which store, just like most/all retail stores. the radioshack in nyc totally knew what arduinos were and stocked the latest getting started with arduino book.

    we don’t think radioshack believes an arduino customer is going to buy a cell phone. when we talked to them on during a conference all awhile ago they didn’t say anything like that at all.

    it’s probably a good idea to at least give them a chance, not all the stores even have the items yet. it does take some time 🙂

    even the apple store in soho nyc couldn’t answer our questions in the past right away about new models of their own hardware immediately.

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