What do you get when you combine an electronics hobbyist, hacker, garage mechanic, kitchen table inventor, tinkerer, and entrepreneur? A “maker,” of course. Playful and creative, makers are—through expertise and experimentation—creating art, products, and processes that are helping change the way all of us think and interact with the world.
As you’ll see from the 21 interviews in Makers at Work, inquisitive makers are just as apt to pick up a laser cutter or Arduino or Raspberry Pi as a wrench to fashion something new. One maker powered a scooter with a battery-operated drill. Another made a messenger bag “smart” like a phone. Then there’s the guy who created a sensor that sends an alert to his phone whenever someone opens the door of his mailbox; the teen who made not just a motorized skateboard, but one with treads that works on grass; and the architect/builder who made a transportable front porch so he could move it to the rear of the house to enjoy sunsets.
Crazy as foxes, makers—working in the spirit of Tesla, Wozniak, Edison, Gates, Musk and many others—can bring sophisticated products to the people or to the market as fast or faster than large corporations. In so doing, they are blazing trails tomorrow’s inventors, programmers, manufacturers, and entrepreneurs will wander down to come up with the next big things. And they are not just enabling new technologies and devices—they are changing the way these devices are funded, manufactured, assembled, and delivered.
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.