Subculture, movement or worldwide network, the maker movement is driving innovation and invention in the 21st century, and shares technical communication ties in two of its champions, Tim O’Reilly and Dale Dougherty.
In every age of scientific exploration, there have been stories of the everyman inventor, the humble pioneer who changed the world while working from scratch. The 19th century had the story of the Curies discovering radioactivity in a petri dish, while the 20th century had the stories of Alexander Fleming turning moldy bread into penicillin, and Bill Gates selling the first Microsoft computers out of his car.
The 21st century may well tell the story of the “maker movement”, a subculture of inventors, engineers and scientists who create everything from open source software programs to personal robots in their spare time and with their own materials. This century may be the age of the invention community – ordinary people sharing the simple joy of creating something with their own two hands with a worldwide network of their fellow inventors.
From within their basements, hobby shops and garages, “makers” have emerged as a force to be reckoned with.
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Stop breadboarding and soldering – start making immediately! Adafruit’s Circuit Playground is jam-packed with LEDs, sensors, buttons, alligator clip pads and more. Build projects with Circuit Playground in a few minutes with the drag-and-drop MakeCode programming site, learn computer science using the CS Discoveries class on code.org, jump into CircuitPython to learn Python and hardware together, TinyGO, or even use the Arduino IDE. Circuit Playground Express is the newest and best Circuit Playground board, with support for CircuitPython, MakeCode, and Arduino. It has a powerful processor, 10 NeoPixels, mini speaker, InfraRed receive and transmit, two buttons, a switch, 14 alligator clip pads, and lots of sensors: capacitive touch, IR proximity, temperature, light, motion and sound. A whole wide world of electronics and coding is waiting for you, and it fits in the palm of your hand.
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