It’s time to meet the Maker Kids once again. Today I’m featuring a brother and sister, 11-year-old Cecilia and her brother, Jeremy, who is 7. Their mom is an avid reader of this blog. If you’re a fan and would like to see your Maker Kids featured, drop me at themakermom (at) hotmail (dot) com! This post contains affiliate links.
Meet the Maker Kids
Cecilia likes to find bugs in her backyard and to bird watch. She hopes to someday own a pet snake or tarantula. She likes STEM a lot, both the term and what it encompasses. Jeremy aspires to be an astro-marine-geo-physicist. His hobby is finding wildlife in his backyard.
What type of things do you like to make?
Cecilia: I like to make things that interact: lighting LEDs, making fans spin, or moving stuff with motors.
Jeremy: I like to take apart electronics and put them back together. I also love Legos.
Tell me about a favorite project. What made it so great?
Cecilia: One of my favorite projects was at an all-girl STEM camp where we played with littleBits. Everyone was put into teams of three to four girls. I was put with the teachers. We were going to make a quadcopter, but the fans were too weak…instead we made a car.
Jeremy: My favorite project was a flashing Christmas tree that I soldered. I learned that soldering can sometimes burn your fingers. Editor’s note: I’ve learned that several times over.
How do you approach projects?
Cecilia: When I approach a project I usually gather my supplies, sit down, and start to tinker. As I mess around, a good idea, most of the time, comes to mind.
Jeremy: I approach things quickly and usually take a hammer and smash. Editor’s note: my boys try to have the same approach, but I encourage them to plan and to wear eye protection. Electronics can have components that carry a heavy charge even after they have been unplugged and may contain toxic metals or liquids, so I advise against smashing those items.
What’s great about being a Maker Kid?
Cecilia: The great thing about being a Maker Kid is we have lots of good ideas, and when we can express them well, people might help us out. For instance, I sent a letter to the Raspberry Pi company saying what I could do if I had one. They sent me back a Raspberry Pi with a note saying they can’t wait to see what I will do with my new Pi! I’m currently working on an interactive adventure game on Pi’s version of the Scratch programming language. It also has a great program called Sonic Pi. Sonic Pi allows you to make your own beats and music. I even made an awesome rap-style version of “Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star”. If you type “play 60”, it will play a beat with the pitch of 60. If you write “sleep 0.5”, it will pause between beats for half a second.
Pi is a great learning tool for MakerKids that want to learn to code. Pi teaches all sorts of programming languages like Python. I used Python to make a message appear on the Minecraft Pi screen during the game. For my birthday I got a Darkside Ollie. Darkside Ollie is a black cylindrical robot you can program. I programmed mine to drive around my room. The blocks you use to program it look a little like the Scratch blocks.
How can parents help their kids be Makers?
Cecilia:I think the most important thing is to try not to get upset if your Maker Kid blows up part of the house. It’s all part of being a Maker Kid Parent! Also, don’t feel bad if your Maker Kid is smarter than you.
Jeremy: Parents can help their kids by getting things for them to take apart and put together, like an ice cream maker. By taking things apart, I learn how they work.
Anything else you’d like people to know?
People think girls can’t do STEM. The truth is, we can. (And maybe better than you boys!) Give us a chance. I know we’ll prove you wrong.